Ombudsman for prisoners

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The Independent Online
PRISONERS with complaints and problems will be able to turn to their own ombudsman in the spring, writes Heather Mills.

Kenneth Clarke, the Home Secretary, announced the new appointment yesterday, in a move which some pressure groups suggested was timed to deflect criticism of prison service management by Judge Stephen Tumim, the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

The judge's report, which proposes a major reorganisation, a reallocation of inmates and a new approach to management, criticised the service for drifting. 'We believe that prisons and the work of those who staff them has suffered for nearly 30 years from a lack of purpose . . ,' it said.

Mr Clarke's announcement, in answer to a parliamentary question yesterday, will answer a major source of grievance to prisoners - no independent consideration of complaints about the system and their treatment.