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26 Sep 2014

Springhill prison: Tightened procedures, but concerns remain

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Springhill prison, published today (Friday 26 September).

Inspectors were not assured that the prison’s governor and staff had sufficient resources to sustain recent changes to its Release on Temporary Licence procedures.

“This was a matter that required urgent attention,” inspectors wrote.

Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The recent focus on problems with prisoner absconds and Release on Temporary Licence in the media has likely led to the prison tightening procedures, and we welcome the efforts being made by staff and management. It is concerning however that the inspectorate does not have confidence in the prison’s ability to maintain its performance in this area, particularly given the cuts to resources faced by Springhill and other prisons across the country.”

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. The inspection report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.
  3. The scale of prison staffing cuts across England and Wales is shown in the Howard League’s research briefing paper, Breaking point: Understaffing and overcrowding in prisons.


Rob Preece
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