Inadequate mental health care provision at a young offenders’ institution has been criticised as scandalous by Wales’ children’s commissioner and an MP. Both Keith Towler and the MP Madeline Moon have demanded urgent action by the Welsh Assembly Government to address the issue at Parc Prison in Bridgend.
Currently, young offenders with mental health care needs have to be sent to England to serve their sentences. The assembly government said it was committed to support young offenders.
Mr Towler and Ms Moon have called on the assembly government to set up a community mental health service at Parc, the only institute for young offenders in Wales. The category B prison, Wales’ only private jail, has more than 1,000 male adults and young offenders.
Primary health care, such as GP services, is provided to the private prison by Primecare, but other health services such as dealing with serious and enduring mental illnesses are the Welsh Assembly Government’s responsibility.
“Parc Prison has never had an in-reach mental health service – a child and adolescent mental health service – reaching into the prison and we have a serious problem here,” Ms Moon told the BBC’s Politics Show Wales. “Parc was opened specifically so that Welsh youngsters could serve their sentence in Wales as close to their families and communities. Those most needy youngsters with mental health problems have had to be sent to England.”
Ms Towler agreed with Ms Moon’s view that the situation was a national disgrace. “These are children in need regardless of their behaviour and they deserve a response that can meet that mental health requirement,” said Mr Towler. “The stark fact is that we do not have those resources available.
“It is a scandal,” he added.
Let me count the ways…private fucking prison with private fucking healthcare! No mandated mental health care for a group that is recognised to have greater need, the responsibility left to the public sector which then seems to lose its nationalist pride where looking after the most vulnerable is concerned. The irony is Parc used to be…a psychiatric hospital. Scandal & disgrace is right. So while the private prison makes profits from our money, the prisoners in need of healthcare either get none or are sent miles from home to England, which of course the authorities avoid because of costs incurred. So that’s neoliberalism Welsh style, Parc Prison is such a shining beacon-
Two warders from Wales’s first privately-run prison have been sacked after giving an in-mate a hoax note warning of his family’s death. The prisoner at Parc Prison near Bridgend, south Wales, is said to have been distressed by the message which said his entire family had been wiped out in a fire. The pair returned 20 minutes later to explain the claim was a joke.
Parc Prison, which is run by Securicor, has been criticised by the prison inspectorate for its poor race relations. Black prisoners moved to Parc from jails in England have complained of being attacked by white gangs, including the Rhondda Skins. Some inmates have said that one part of the jail is known as a “Ku Klux Klan Wing”. Although more recent inspections have suggested that the situation at Parc has improved, the CRE is anxious to investigate and to explore claims that English young prisoners have been victimised by Welsh inmates.
But the Chief Inspector of Prisons later lauded jail owners Securicor in March 2001 for measures taken to improve matters. Sir David Ramsbottom said Parc Prison had gone on to develop very good systems to deal with sex offenders and drug addicts and to minimise suicides and bullying among its 835 inmates. According to his report, the prison – which suffered a number of high profile problems and suicides by inmates after it opened – had “matured and progressed”.
They certainly have good PR now, hey look a literary festival which seems very progressive, now if they could just actually provide care for the mentally damaged prisoners too.
Ps. Private prisons are also bad for the workers in 2004 a report found–
Average hourly basic pay for private sector prison and detention custody officers in England and Wales is 43% less than their public sector counterparts receive, a recent and as yet unpublished official study reveals.
However management saw an increase in pay, 33% for the top managers, try and act surprised.
In Cardiff prison they spend just £1.76 per day on each prisoners food. The figure for Parc is unknown as it being a private prison the figure is kept secret as it is- not a ‘public authority’ as defined by the Freedom of Information Act. Although the referenced Hansard answer claims-
the average cost for establishments operated by the contracted sector ranged from £2.10 to £3.07.
How does PFI work out for the…more fortunate? Parc is the only private prison in Wales, at the moment. A more localised institution will be better but have we assurances it will be public owned? Parc opened a month before Altcourse prison in Liverpool but was not built and designed from PFI scratch so scouseland gets the honour of the first PFI pure private prison. Behold-
The builders of Britain’s first privately financed and run prison have made more legitimate profit out of crime than the small-time crooks incarcerated there could ever dream about, a parliamentary report reveals today.
Profits from Altcourse prison in Fazakerley, Liverpool, the first prison to be built under the government’s private finance initiative, have been so enormous that the companies building it have recovered all their costs in two years.
This will leave them with 23 years of pure profit from the construction, plus extra profits to come from the running of the £247m prison for 600 local inmates. The deal – condemned by the Commons public accounts committee – was described by Alan Williams, MP for Swansea West, as “like coming up with the lottery several times a year”.
The MPs are scathing about the arrangements which led to the Home Office signing such a deal – which saved £1m compared with conventional methods of using taxpayers’ cash – and has led to a 75% rise in profits in tfour years for the consortium run by Group 4 Securitas and Tarmac Construction. Tarmac have subsequently sold its share to Carillion plc.