Youngsters jailed with sex offenders

An inspection of Holme House Prison has raised concerns about young remand prisoners being exposed to the risk of sexual abuse.

The inspectors were made aware by staff that several young men were being kept on remand at the vulnerable prisoner unit alongside sex offenders and child abusers. This prompted the report to call for such practice to cease, and label it ‘unsafe’.

Part of the problem has been attributed to overcrowding at the eleven year old prison on Teeside, which houses 1000 inmates.

Prison populations in England and Wales reached record highs earlier this year, although they have edged down since. This has put prisons under increased pressure and many are struggling to provide necessary facilities.

Half of all Holme House Prisoners had no allocated work according to the report, and problems with bullying were also noted, with the suggestion that new practices had yet to be put in place for staff.

However, although the report highlighted some serious problems at the prison, it also acknowledged the work being done by the present management to turn the institution around, and claimed that it is on an ‘upward curve’.