'Failing' prison neglected disabled inmates - Crime - UK - The Independent

'Failing' prison neglected disabled inmates

A disabled prisoner was unable to wash properly for over a year because staff refused to carry him to the showers, a damning report revealed today.



Another disabled prisoner went six months without a shower because of a lack of staff "trained" to push his wheelchair, an official inspection found.

Inspectors said HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight, where both men were held, lacked "basic levels of safety and decency".

Prisoners were poorly supervised by staff, violence was "endemic" and there was widespread abuse of prescription drugs.

It's claimed injuries to prisoners that were described as "unexplained" were not properly investigated, and a proper inquiry was not carried out into an alleged assault of a prisoner by a member of staff.

The report also found a group of radical Muslim prisoners were able to spread their extremist message to other inmates.

The Muslim chaplain who offered to set up a teaching group to combat the radicals received "little support" from management.

One group of staff were described by inmates as "intimidating", and inspectors overheard prisoners referred to as "bodies".

The category B prison, which holds nearly 500 mostly violent and sexual offenders, is a former military hospital first converted into a prison in the mid-19th century.

The report paints a picture of a dysfunctional institution. Parts of the prison building were dilapidated and litter dumped out of cell windows went uncollected.

Chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers said Parkhurst was a "troubled institution" with "substantial shortcomings".

She said relations between staff and management were "exceptionally poor".

The report said: "One prisoner with impaired mobility had not been able to shower for over a year, apparently for lack of staff support.

"Another who used a wheelchair was denied access to a basic regime and had not been able to shower for six months, apparently because only three staff were prepared to push his wheelchair and they had not been available to undertake this task."

Ms Owers said: "In many ways, Parkhurst is a failing prison: prisoners feel unsafe and poorly treated, and neither the environment nor the regime are suited to the role of a modern training prison.

"Exceptionally poor industrial relations also exert a malign influence over an already troubled institution."

"Parkhurst badly needs regional and national support to ensure the restoration of basic levels of safety and decency, together with investment to increase purposeful activity."

Phil Wheatley, director general of the National Offender Management Service, said he accepted the prison had fallen below an acceptable standard.

"Parkhurst now forms part of HMP Isle of Wight, whose Governor has embarked from May 1 this year on a radical programme of change with the help of a new senior management team."

"I am determined that the creation of the new prison and the associated restructuring will deliver the changes required," he said.



Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said today that she had called on the Prison Service to comply with its responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act.

She said she was writing to Director-General Phil Wheatley, Secretary of State Jack Straw and Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to ensure the service does comply.

She said: "The Ministry of Justice is breaking the law by allowing Parkhurst and other jails to be used as an inhumane, double punishment for disabled people."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week