Man dies after 'falling from landing' at G4S-run prison

Authorities are investigating the incident at HMP Altcourse

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Friday 08 December 2017 18:26 GMT
HMP Altcourse, near Liverpool
HMP Altcourse, near Liverpool (Wikimedia Commons)

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A man believed to have fallen from a landing has died at a G4S-run private prison.

The unnamed inmate’s death sparked a lockdown at HMP Altcourse in Merseyside as emergency services responded.

The prison director, Steve Williams, did not confirm the cause of the unnamed man’s death on Thursday but the Liverpool Echo said he fell from a landing.

“His next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time,” Mr Williams said.

“As with any death in custody, this will be investigated by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman.”

HMP Altcourse is a category B prison and young offenders’ institution, housing people who have been sentenced or remanded in custody in series of blocks.

A report on the prison published last month said there had been some safety improvements over the past year and a reduction in the use of former “legal highs”.

The Independent Monitoring Board said staffing had increased but communication on mental and physical health was poor “at all levels” and education was under-resourced and outdated.

The report came after a prison officer's neck was slashed by an inmate in April.

HMP Altcourse was purpose-built in 1997 under the government’s controversial PFI initiative, with G4S currently holding a 25-year contract to manage the facility.

The private security firm has been hit by a series of scandals, most recently over the treatment of migrants at immigration removal centres.

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