Blantyre House prison 'a threat to community safety'

Prison Cell Emptyoriginally by: BBC News
published: 28 November 2013

A damning report on aspects of how a Kent prison is run suggests it is compromising the safety of the local community, according to the area’s MP. 

Greg Clark says he is concerned that an independent report cites unprecedented problems with drugs and violence at Blantyre House, near Goudhurst.

He has written to Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright and governor James Bourke about his worries. But the Ministry of Justice says the situation is improving at the jail.

The Independent Monitoring Board report said only about 15% of the inmates at the category C/D semi-open resettlement prison were in paid work.

It said the use of legal highs in the jail had led to bullying and intimidation, as some prisoners ran up debts to dealers within Blantyre House. Mr Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, said Blantyre House had “always been a highly successful resettlement prison”.

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