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29 May 2015

Serco-run Dovegate is overcrowded and understaffed

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Serco-run Dovegate prison, published today (Friday 29 May). Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

“Dovegate is an overcrowded and understaffed private prison that has struggled to tackle serious problems. Levels of violence and self-harm are high, and illicit drugs are easy to obtain. When inspectors visited, there were occasions when they found no staff on the wings. This would be concerning anywhere, but it is particularly worrying in a prison where four people took their own lives in 2013. This is an example of the challenges facing the new Secretary of State, who has inherited a system that has significant difficulties.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
  2. A copy of the Dovegate inspection report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.


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