Aylesbury Prison slammed in report as a "violent place"

Aylesbury Prison has been slammed in the latest report from the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board. (IMB)
Aylesbury Prison has been slammed in the latest report from the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board. (IMB)

Aylesbury Prison has been criticised in the latest report from the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board. (IMB)

The prison "has become a more violent place" since their last inspection, with serious assaults on staff more than doubling.

The IMB puts this down to 'poor staffing'.

The report says: "The Prison service allows Aylesbury to employ 110 basic grade prison officers. At the start of the reporting year, there were only 65 of these officers employed."

To exacerbate the matter, 30% of the basic grade officers have less than one year's experience on the job.

It continues: "A key area of concern for this board over many years has been the increasingly poor state of the prison. Ordinary maintenance appeared to have a low priority resulting in the very fabric of the prison visibly decaying.

"Since Carillon's replacement by Government Facilities Services Limited, we have witnessed a welcome change in attitude towards repair and maintenance of the prison."

A statement from the Prison Service said: “We are determined to bring down the unacceptable levels of violence in our prisons.

"We are rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, body-worn cameras and ‘police style’ handcuffs and restraints and are spending an extra £70 million to improve safety and tackle the drugs which we know are fuelling much of the violence.

“Refurbishments are underway at the prison and a new site manager has been appointed to speed up the planned maintenance requirements.”

Prisoners at HMYOI Aylesbury are aged between 18 and 23. The prison has a capacity of 440.

It houses some of the most disruptive and challenging young men in the prison system.

Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The Howard League runs a free and confidential legal advice line for children and young people in custody, and this report adds to our long-held concerns that Aylesbury prison is failing the young adults in its care.

“Our research has shown that more days of additional imprisonment are handed down in Aylesbury than in almost all other jails in the country, and this draconian approach is only piling more pressure on an already understaffed and under-resourced prison.

“We cannot go on locking up young people for hours on end with nothing to do. Bold but sensible steps to reduce the prison population would ease pressure on troubled jails like Aylesbury – saving lives, helping staff and protecting more people from being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”

The report showed there was a reduction of incidents of self harm, from 451 in 2016/17 to 255 in 2017/18. It did however show an increase on prisoner on prisoner assaults; from 222 in 2016/17 to 241 in 2017/18

There was also a huge rise in serious assaults on staff, with 33 in 2017/8 and 14 in 2016/17. There was also a considerable rise in prisoner on staff assaults, with 72 in 2016/17 and 92 in 2017/18