Wakefield prison: ‘Acute’ mental health problems at jail


There are “totally unacceptable delays” in transferring mentally-ill prisoners from a high-security jail to secure accommodation, a report has found.

The delays at HMP Wakefield are exacerbating some inmates’ conditions, inspectors said.

Chief inspector Peter Clarke will now take the “unusual step” of making a recommendation directly to the prisons minister calling for action.

The government said the report would be used “to further develop” Wakefield.

Violent offenders
The jail houses 700 men, including some of the most “challenging and complex prisoners”, said the report.

Inmates – who have included Soham killer, Ian Huntley and Milly Dowler’s murderer, Levi Bellfield – are mostly sex or violent offenders serving long or indeterminate sentences.

Mr Clarke said the problem in transferring prisoners with mental health issues to hospital was “not unique to Wakefield” but “yet another example” of inmates not receiving the care they needed.

The difficulty of dealing with prisoners with mental health problems was “acute” at Wakefield, he added.

Mr Clarke said his recommendation to the prisons minister would call for transfers to be completed under the Mental Health Act within a target of 14 days.

“Because of the totally unacceptable delays . . . many prisoners across the prison estate are held in conditions that are not in any way therapeutic and indeed in many cases clearly exacerbate their condition,” he said. “This is a national strategic issue to which we have made reference many times.”

Locked up
The inspection team visited the West Yorkshire jail in June and praised its “calm” atmosphere and “good order, safety, security and decency”.

But inspectors said black and minority ethnic prisoners had a poorer perception of their treatment and too many inmates overall were locked up during the day.

Michael Spurr, chief executive of HM Prison & Probation Service, said: “I am pleased that the chief inspector has commended the high quality of work being done at Wakefield which is a credit to managers and staff.

“The governor will use the recommendations in this report to further develop the establishment to meet the needs of its prisoners.

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact adelinedarrow@gmail.com. Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to adelinedarrow@gmail.com and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at adelinedarrow@gmail.com – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: adelinedarrow@gmail.com with the subject DMCA Request.