Gang members are holding ‘fight clubs’ inside prisons, report finds

GANG members are holding “fight clubs” inside prisons, it has been revealed.

Inspectors found “organised” brawls between large numbers of lads amid surging violence behind bars.

'Far from stable' the watchdog found reports of 'fight clubs' at HMP Portland on the Isle of Portland in Dorset
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HMP Portland was found to be ‘far from stable’ with ‘reports of fight clubs’[/caption]

The annual report of the Independent Monitoring Boards watchdog found assaults by prisoners doubling in many jails, often linked to drug debts and gang rivalries.

It said HMP Portland on the Isle of Portland in Dorset was “far from stable” with “reports of ‘fight clubs’”.

And Youth Offender Institution Feltham “noted that ‘many prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and multi-prisoner fights are “organised” and happen as a result of gang activity on the outside’”.

There was also “serious concern” about drugs especially synthetic cannabis Spice in jails across the country.

Incredibly, a wing of one prison that was set aside for addicts to detox had to be shut down when it became overrun by drugs.

GANG RIVALRIES

The annual report revealed: “At The Mount, a drug recovery wing had to be shut down because there were too many drugs, and when it moved to another wing, the drugs, bullying and violence moved with it.”

Inspectors who visited the jail in Hertfordshire found anti-drug courses were abandoned “mainly due to the fact that drug fuelled drones were arriving regularly

at unprotected cell windows as well as the pervasive smell of cannabis permeating throughout”.

They said the drones were able to fly in over the winter of 2017 because protective netting had been brought down by snow.

Dame Anne Owers, national chairman of the IMBs, said: “There is no question that IMBs are still reporting some serious and ongoing problems in prisons.

The decline in safety, conditions and purposeful activity in prisons over the last few years has seriously hampered their ability to rehabilitate prisoners.

“This will take time to reverse, and will require consistent leadership and management both in the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice, as new staff, policies and resources bed in.”

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