Attacks “more likely” in poorly performing prisons

Incidents like the murder of Asian young offender Zahid Mubarek
are more likely to occur in prisons where staff morale is low, and
prisoners are “banged up” for an unacceptable length of
time, the Zahid Mubarek inquiry chairman stated today,
writes Maria Ahmed.

Announcing a full list of topics being examined in the second phase
of the inquiry, chairman Mr Justice Keith called for the Prison
Service to identify establishments which were not performing

The inquiry is examining how Zahid Mubarek, 19, came to be battered
to death by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart, then also 19, at
Feltham young offender institution in March 2000.

Mr Justice Keith and his advisers are currently on a tour of eight
prisons with the aim of making recommendations designed to minimise
the risk of attacks like the murder of Mubarek from happening

Topics for phase two of the inquiry include looking at how
information about prisoners is shared, cell-sharing risk
assessments, risk assessments of dangerous prisoners, and racism
and religious intolerance.

In addition, the inquiry will hold a number of focus groups this
month, and six seminars in mid-September.

The chairman is expected to hand his report over to the Home
Secretary by the end of the year.

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