Cumbria prison staff resorted to patrolling in pairs due to safety fears, an inspection has found.
Officers at HMP Haverigg, a converted former RAF camp, reported that they did not feel safe enough to patrol certain areas of the prison alone. The decision to house some inmates in former RAF living quarters had had an impact on security, but was unlikely to change without outside investment, the report by the chief inspectorate of prisons warned.
It stated: “The prison was performing poorly in relation to safety. The design and supervision of the billeted accommodation, particularly one unit where even staff had to patrol in pairs, was a major obstacle to safety.”
Bullying and victimisation among inmates was also rife, with almost two-thirds of them admitting that drugs were readily available. In random drugs tests, a quarter either tested positive or refused to give a sample. More than 40% of prisoners said that they felt unsafe.
Since the inspection, the prison has implemented a new drug supply reduction strategy and a new testing compliance regime.