A PRISON home to young male thugs was branded “shabby and in a poor state of repair” in a damning new report.
Inmates at HMP Deerbolt in Barnard Castle, County Durham, are “bored” and live in “disarray,” according to the report by government inspectors who visited the Category C jail in July. Conditions have become so bleak that prisoners have to wear bin bags instead of coats during exercises due to a lack of resources.
The prison had been impacted significantly by the covid pandemic, reports Teesside Live.
A section in the 66-page report reads: “External areas were pleasant, but exercise yards were stark.
“Prisoners were not provided with coats an we saw some using bin bags to protect them from the rain.
“None of the cells had access to electricity, other than a light switch and cell call bell. The regime on the unit was minimal, with half an hour on the exercise yard, time for a telephone call and shower, and a visit by the duty governor and nurse every day.”
There were more than 180 assaults at the jail last year but the report noted “only serious incidents of violence were investigated”.
“As a result, some prisoners were locked up for several weeks without meaningful human contact, welfare checks or any indication as to when the restrictions would end,” it continued.
Photos taken at HMP Deerbolt, built on the site of a former Army camp, show “bleak” rooms, “barren” excercise yards and other shabby facilities.
And the report added: “Most prisoners spent 23 hours each day locked in their cells with little useful activity to fill their time.
“There was no indoor association provided, which limited the availability of social activities.”
It found “many prisoners spent most of their days bored or asleep in their cells.”
Inspectors say there are “few meaningful incentives” to encourage good behaviour among young inmates.
The report said: “We had concerns about the impact that this extended period spent without regular social interaction could have on the well-being of young adults with long prison sentences, whose access to family and other significant people in the community was often restricted to one 10- minute telephone conversation each day.”
But health care, mental health care and social care were all much improved, inspectors found.
Well over a third of the prison’s 256 inmates are being treated for substance. “Brinkwire Summary News”.