Probe into prisoner swap during jail inspections
An investigation has been launched after it emerged that inmates were transferred between two prisons immediately before official inspections were due to start, the Ministry of Justice said today.
Prisoners were moved between Pentonville and Wandsworth prisons in London during inspections in May and June.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw commissioned the investigation after concerns were raised by the chief inspector of prisons, Dame Anne Owers.
He said it was "neither policy nor acceptable practice temporarily to move prisoners during inspections".
The inquiry will look at who suggested and approved the transfers, why, and how many prisoners were involved.
Mr Straw said: "Phil Wheatley, the director general of the National Offender Management Service, has commissioned a formal investigation into information brought to us by Dame Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, concerning the temporary transfer of prisoners in anticipation of HMCIP inspections of two prisons.
"The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Stephen Shaw, has also drawn our attention to the transfers.
"The Chief Inspector will make her own judgements in her inspection reports on the prisons, due for release within the next six weeks, but it is neither policy nor acceptable practice temporarily to move prisoners during inspections.
"The terms of reference for the investigation are:
"To investigate the circumstances surrounding the temporary transfer of a number of prisoners between HMPs Pentonville and Wandsworth immediately prior to the HMCIP inspections of each prison.
"In particular, I ask you to examine: who proposed and authorised the transfers; the rationale for the transfers; and the circumstances of the actual transfers themselves and whether those transfers took place in line with policy requirements relating to the well-being of prisoners."
The investigation is expected to be completed within a month.
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Iain Duncan Smith's expenses credit card is suspended after he runs up £1,000 debt to taxpayer
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck to divorce and end their 10-year marriage