Caroline Flint has met Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, to discuss a new Government project to improve prisons.
Said Caroline: "I am very grateful to the Minister for meeting. Two of the prisons in the 10 Prisons Project - HMP Lindholme and HMP Moorland - are in Don Valley. The Project seeks to tackle drugs, improve maintenance of prisons, and improve training of staff. Every prison officer in those establishments would welcome this - but it is vital for my constituents and other staff who work in these prisons, that their safety and working life is improved by this Project. It must deliver for them."
The 10 Prisons Project was announced by Rory Stewart MP on 17 August 2018. The 10 Prisons Project involves 10 prisons known to have serious concerns around drug usage and violence.
Stewart famously threatened to quit his post if the Prisons project did not succeed, telling the BBC: “I want you to judge me on those results and I will resign if I don’t succeed.”
Stewart sees the 10 Prisons Project as a pilot project for improving the rest of the prison service, saying the project “sets a course for the rest of the estate to follow”.
The 10 Prisons Project gives £10m of funding. It aims to tackle drug usage, improve the maintenance of the prisons involved, and give training to prison staff.
- Drugs: Government has pledged to invest in body scanners capable of detecting drug packages inside human bodies. All prisons in the project have been given four extra drug-detecting dogs, two extra dog handlers, eight additional staff for entry searching and a Drug Strategy Manager.
- Maintenance: Government has pledged that prisons have new medical treatment rooms, furniture and toilet privacy screens. They also want to refurbish cells and shared areas.
- Training: Government is developing new training programs to help Governors and prison officers develop skills. Violence reduction training for staff on wings began to be rolled out by Christmas last year.
The ultimate goal of the Project is for successful interventions to be rolled out nationally, and for the results to inform on priority areas for future investment and development.
Said Caroline: "As this Project develops, I want to hear from prison service staff about what has changed; what has worked and what more is needed. I want the committed staff of this vital public service to deliver their jobs in safety and knowing they are making a difference."