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Report Finds Dorchester Prison Still Overcrowded but Improving

dorchester prison

10:18am 1st November 2012

Providing purposeful activity for inmates at Dorchester Prison has improved but there are still concerns over welfare, according to a report out today (1st November 2012).

A follow up visit by the Chief Inspector of prisons says the Dorchester jail remains very overcrowded and staff are complacent about prisoner safety.

But there have been improvements in education programmes and substance misuse.

Inspectors were pleased to discover substance misuse services had improved, that there had been significant improvement in health care services and management, plus there were improvements in the range and quality of education, including new courses to improve literacy and numeracy.

However, inspectors were concerned although prisoners said Dorchester remained a safe prison, there had been little progress on monitoring and analysing incidents of violence or self-harm so that they could be better prevented. They also found the prison to still be very overcrowded and prisoners continued to spend too much time locked up.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: "HMP Dorchester has responded positively to some key findings from our last inspection but there are some enduring concerns. Although the new health care facility has not materialised, management and delivery of health services has progressed. Good work has been done to improve purposeful activity but there is still not enough available. The prison remains overcrowded and staff need to guard against complacency concerning prisoner safety and relationships if they are to remain strengths of the prison."

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