Less than one third of young black and minority ethnic offenders at Doncaster Prison and Young Offender Institution report that staff treat them well, inspectors say in a report published today (Wednesday).
The privately-run prison and YOI, previously found to be a good jail by inspectors, is not performing well in key areas, said chief inspector Anne Owers.
Issues highlighted in the report include:
• Bullying not being sufficiently addressed, even when linked to self-harm
• A lack of work for offenders, of particular concern for young prisoners
• “Squalid” environment
• “Inadequate” and “unsafe” detox procedures
• No support for newly arrived prisoners
However, inspectors praised “innovative” suicide prevention work and “well-run” resettlement.
Owers said Doncaster “is by no means a bad local prison” but that managers had “failed to tackle problems we pointed out in our last inspection”.
The prison “had deteriorated in some important respects – all in areas not mandated in the prison’s contract. Managers had allowed those areas to slip below what was safe and decent,” she added.
The report showed “yet another private prison failing to put people before profit,” said director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook.
“Unsurprisingly, the chief inspector draws attention to the fact that those areas in which the prison is failing are those in which it was not contractually obliged by the Home Office to meet particular standards,” concluded Crook.