CHIEF Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick has revealed ‘serious problems’ at HMP Ranby in a recent report.
The document highlighted concerns over health care, crammed cells, unscreened toilets and ‘insufficient efforts’ to reduce violence.
Inspectors, however, were pleased with prisoners’ access to training and the support they receive in settling back into the community.
“HMP Ranby could be outstanding and has some features comparable prisons would envy,” said Mr Hardwick.
“Most prisoners have good quality work and training opportunities, together with effective resettlement help, provided in a safe and decent environment.”
“However, for a minority there is an undercurrent of victimisation, frustration sorting out some of the practical necessities of prison life and a lack of encouragement to take advantage of the work and training opportunities available.”
“The big site and thin staffing levels make it difficult to get on top of alcohol availability.”
He added: “The most serious problem facing the prison at the time of the inspection was poor health care provision.”
“It should not have taken an inspection to get these issues resolved. Nevertheless I am pleased by the way the prison and NHS South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have responded to our concerns and that the inspectors I asked to return to the prison found health care had improved.”
HMP Ranby holds around 1,000 men on a large, sprawling site which makes it difficult to manage, the report claims.
Chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service Michael Spurr said: “I am pleased the chief inspector recognises the progress made in education and training at Ranby despite the challenges they face in terms of the scale of the prison and the population it holds.”
“Since the inspection, the Primary Care Trust has taken urgent action to improve health care provision and is working with the governor to tackle drug and alcohol abuse.”
“These measures, combined with a good range of resettlement provision, will reduce the likelihood of reoffending and thereby protect the public.”