Hindley Prison has made “substantial improvements” in response to a damning inspection report, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has said.
HMP Hindley was slammed after a visit from the Prison Inspectorate last year, who found several worrying issues at the prison.
The report found that inmates were regularly locked in their cells for more than 24 hours at a time, and also gave indications of high levels of violence and that it was “far easier” get hold of drugs than clean clothes, bed sheets or books.
The inspectors criticised the prison for the lack of support given to inmates at high risk of self harm, while wings and cells were found to be dirty and neglected.
An action plan was published by the Prison Inspectorate in February, which outlined steps to remedy the problems.
Now, one year on from the original report, the MOJ revealed what action has been taken to combat the issues.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Hindley has made substantial improvements since last year’s inspection.
“A new drug supply and violence reduction strategy has already resulted in less contraband and a safer prison, with investment in extra security measures ongoing.
“There has also been strong improvements in cleanliness, with regular quality inspections to ensure this continues.
“While there is progress to be made on staffing, HMP Hindley expects to be fully staffed by early 2018 following a successful recruitment campaign.”
The prison’s consistent problems with low staff numbers were believed to be a knock-on effect of the government’s U-turn on closing the prison. Hundreds of prisoners were set to be relocated from Hindley this year following a multi-million pound transformation, a move which would have seen the jail flattened and completely redeveloped, but the idea was later put on hold by the government. The move saw scores of staff relocated, causing chaos when the plans were scrapped.