Penitentiary: Private prison in Birmingham again under state control

The British government has deprived a private prison operator in Birmingham of its responsibility. Inspectors reported violence, drugs and loss of control.

Penitentiary: Private prison in Birmingham again under state control

Due to chaotic conditions, British government has again put a privately-run prison in Birmingham under state control. Inspectors reported violence, drugs and a loss of control by security guards. The government now wants to get a picture of situation within six months and decide wher institution must also be permanently managed by state.

Chief prison Inspector Peter Clarke said prison had "slipped into crisis." During an inspection, some prison staff were found asleep or imprisoned in ir offices. In addition, re are many places in dilapidated building with vermin and debris lying around.  From beginning of year to July, 1,434 attacks were reported re – country's highest number.

In prison re was already a serious revolt at end of last year. About 600 prisoners laid fires, lit fireworks and rioted overtime. The BBC reported that during uprising several suspected occupants had called station to complain about bad food, hygiene deficiencies and missing staff.

Ministry of Justice sets up additional guards

The Ministry of Justice set up a new prison director and a new management team and hired 30 additional guards. In addition, number of occupants was reduced by 30. At end of July re were almost 1,300 offenders in Birmingham.

In early 1990s, government had concluded contracts with private companies on management of some prisons. A total of 17 of 123 British prisons are run by private companies. The case in Birmingham is first time that government has to intervene.

Birmingham is largest British city in London with more than one million inhabitants. The detention center in city centre is one of largest in country. It dates back to Victorian times and is considered obsolete as many prisons in country.

Updated Date: 21 August 2018, 12:00

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