Leicestershire Prison Rated 'Unsafe

6 August 2014, 08:37 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Prisoners in a young offenders jail have been charging other inmates 'rent' for cells and threatening violence if it's not paid.

Glen Parva in Leicestershire has been rated unsafe by inspectors, it holds 650 men aged between 18 and 21.

In the last year, attacks on prisoners and staff have gone up by a quarter and three inmates have taken their own lives.

The inspectorate has called for urgent progress with reviews into arrangements for holding young adults.

'Lord of the Flies'

Frances Crook, chief executive of campaigners Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

'This prison is dangerous for teenagers and this sounds more like an extract from William Golding's Lord Of The Flies than a report on an institution that is meant to help young people turn their lives around.

'Yet another report of violence and idleness inflicted on teenagers by the state shows that the use of short prison sentences and remand is at the core of the problem.'

Chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick added:

'Glen Parva is a concerning institution.

'However, some of the challenges Glen Parva faces are outside its direct control and the planned review of arrangements for holding young adults, and the current independent inquiry into recent self-inflicted deaths among this age group, need to proceed urgently.''

Michael Spurr, chief executive of the National Offender Management Service (Noms), the executive agency of the Ministry of Justice that runs prisons in England and Wales, said:

'The challenges presented by the young men held at Glen Parva should not be underestimated and on occasions the prison has struggled to cope.

'The governor launched an improvement plan prior to this unannounced inspection and progress is being made.

'Safety is the governor's top priority and the YOI is now providing a safe and decent regime. We are reviewing future arrangements for young adult offenders in light of the wider concerns raised by the inspectorate.'