Maria Caulfield MP has supported HMP Lewes in Parliament, asking the Justice Minister what more can be done to support the local prison following poor inspections.
HMP Lewes was inspected in January 2019 with the inspector calling the finding “troubling and indicative of systemic failure”. Maria Caulfield has since met with the prison’s Deputy Governor and prisoners to discuss issue within the prison.
During the latest Parliamentary session of Justice Questions Maria Caulfield MP raised the problems at HMP Lewes with the Justice Minister saying: “The recent prison inspectors report on HMP Lewes in my constituency found systemic failure even after its gone into special measures, with an increase in assault on staff and a quarter of inmates feeling unsafe. What more can the Department do to support the new Governor, Hannah Lane, in turning that prison around and making it a safer place for inmates and prison officers?”
Justice Minister Robert Buckland MP responded “My Honourable friend is quite right to chart the issues at HMP Lewes. I’m happy to say that the prison is now fully staffed and performance has begun to improve over 2nd half of last year, but things have not recovered I accept to the position that Lewes had been in when the inspectorate paid a previous visit, but assaults have fallen to a level similar to that of 3 years ago. Work continues to be done at the centre both I and HMPPS will continue to support the new Governor in her work.”
Maria Caulfield MP commented “It is important that prisons are safe places for all of the hardworking staff and inmates, who should be able to carry out their sentence free from fear of violence focusing on rehabilitation and preparation for life after prison. I am pleased that both locally and in the Justice Department work is being done to bring Lewes Prison back up to the standard that is expected. I will continue to work with HMP Lewes to support them in whatever they need and I will keep the pressure on the Government to ensure that the utmost support is given to HMP Lewes.”
A video of the exchange in Parliament can be seen at https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/fc25ef7f-5919-4c6f-a42a-694985818e07?in=14:48:25&out=12:49:19