Private operator ‘puts profits first’

The Howard League for Penal Reform has accused independent prison
company Premier Prisons of putting profits before the safety and
welfare of young people held at Ashfield Young Offenders’

Problems identified in Britain’s only private juvenile prison
include low levels of staffing, lack of experience or training
among staff and high staff turnover.

According to the report, the root of Ashfield’s problems is an
inability to recruit and retain staff because of poor pay and
conditions offered by Premier Prisons, which runs the

High levels of violence were also seen as a problem at Ashfield.
The Prison Reform Trust recently reported an assault rate of 74.1
per cent.

In addition, the Howard League finds no offending behaviour work at
Ashfield, insufficient places in education and training and no
personal officer scheme.

In May, prison service director-general Martin Narey cited safety
reasons when he replaced Premier’s director at Ashfield with a
prison service governor.

– Children in Prison: Provision and Practice at Ashfield
from 020 7249 7373.

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