Alcohol Allowed in Prison Due to Lack of Security

It was recently revealed that Ford Open Prison in Sussex has been allowing alcohol as well as other contraband into the prison due to its lack of security.  This has resulted in many inmates becoming increasingly drunk and violent.

The prison, known for its laidback reputation, has often been inhabited by many rich and famous celebrities, including ex-footballer George Best but a recent inspection has found that due to this slack approach inmates are treating the prison more like a holiday camp than a rehabilitation centre.  Even the night before the inspection, two prisoners were found in possession of alcohol and were behaving aggressively, so much so that they had to be put into isolation under duress.

It is believed that along with alcohol making its way into the prison, drugs are being smuggled out of the prison to be sold at a higher price and the Prison Officers Association have advised that even prostitutes are being sneaked in.

The prison covers one hundred acres but with only six members of staff allocated to monitor the site during the evening and over night, the grounds are not scrutinized enough, particularly around the perimeter fencing. 

The open prison is not designed in the same way to keep prisoners within its walls as other prisons but this also results in residents coming and going during the night sometimes unnoticed which is worrying.  The boundary fences are low and some areas have even been damaged by vandals.

Prison inspectors confirmed this failing and also stated that during one inspection many bottles of vodka were found and that this is not an uncommon occurrence.  The prison did have plans to have CCTV cameras installed around the boundary but due to the expensive cost of this the plans were dropped.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers is disappointed that the concerns that had been raised were not looked into adequately after subsequent inspections.

Many London jails are suffering with over crowding and to combat this, the inmates are being sent to the prison which is leading to fears that unsuitable prisoners who have been remanded by the courts are residing in the open prison.