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The Independent Online
Vital measures needed to bring prisons up to a minimum level of security have still to be implemented, despite recommendations made nine months ago, it was revealed yesterday. The decision by Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, is understood to be because his department cannot afford the pounds 2bn needed to bring in the improvements.

The recommendations were made in the Learmont report, which followed a breakout at the Parkhurst high-security jail on the Isle of Wight in January 1995. Jack Straw, the shadow Home Secretary, attacked the move and the timing of the announcement - it was released at 5pm on the last day before Parliament breaks for the summer.

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