Serco's prison falls into chaos

When prison inspectors visited Serco-run Doncaster prison, they found numerous inmates too terrified to leave their cell.

You can see why. The report they published this morning reveals an institution descending into chaos. In the months before the investigation there had been "numerous acts of indiscipline", including hostage-taking and the use of barricades. Levels of assault were much higher than in similar prisons, with numerous violent incidents resulting in serious injuries, both to prisoners and staff. Half of the inmates told investigators they’d been victimised by other prisoners. A quarter of them currently felt unsafe.

In the six months before the inspection, there’d been 365 assaults. Many were serious. Many involved a gang setting upon a single victim. Early last year, one inmate was murdered.

"The last inspection report was awful, and this one is even worse," Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, says...


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