Farms violence sparks concern

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MORE than one violent incident per day is taking place at Lancaster Farms Young Offenders Institution (YOI), according to a recent inspection.

More than 200 incidents were recorded in the first six months of 2011, but the prison was found to be making significant improvements following an unnanounced inspection by the Chief Inspector of Prisons in June.

The report found that although most violent incidents were minor fights, a significant number were serious and some involved the use of weapons.

During the week of inspection, there were two assaults involving weapons and another where a prisoner required hospital treatment.

The use of force by prison officers was also considered high, with 171 occasions where force was used in the first five months of 2011, although this was a slight reduction from the same period in 2010. Dave Bowman, chairman of the prison officer’s association (POA) at Lancaster Farms, said officers were “somewhat pleased” with the outcome of the report but was still concerned about the level of violence.

See the Lancaster Guardian (24-11-11) for full story.