More punishment dished out to Doncaster inmates who misbehave

HMP & YOI Doncaster, Marshgate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-05-15 HMP Doncaster MC 5
HMP & YOI Doncaster, Marshgate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-05-15 HMP Doncaster MC 5

Punishments in the form of extra time behind bars for inmates who misbehave while in jail have mushroomed in two of Doncaster’s prisons.

The number of additional days dished out to inmates have gone up at both Doncaster and Lindholme, near Hatfield Woodhouse.

The biggest rise was at Lindholme, where the figures nearly tripled, from 1,140 in 2012 to 3,013 last year.

The figure for 2013 was 2,406.

At Doncaster, the figure rose from 409 in 2012, to 753 last year. The figure for 2013 was 555.

However, at Doncaster’s third prison, Moorland, the figure fell from 1,098 to 612, having risen to 1,247 in 2013.

The statistics were unveiled during parliamentary questions, after the figure was requested by Andrew Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith in London.

Bosses at the Prison Service say incidents may be committed at one establishment and punished at another, so not all the incidents for which punishments were handed out by independent adjudicators may have happened in Doncaster’s jails.

The figures correspond to the sum of the number of days given for each punishment after an incident of misbehaviour.

Current policies do not allow for added days to extend beyond 42 days for an individual prisoner.

Andrew Selous, justice under-secretary, told MPs: “Discipline procedures are central to the maintenance of a safe custodial environment.

“They are provided for by the Prison and Young Offender Institution Rules.

“These require adjudications to be conducted lawfully, fairly and justly, and for prisoners and young people, aged 15 to 17, to have a full opportunity to hear what is alleged against them and to present their case.

“Independent adjudicators are district judges or deputy district judges who attend prisons and young offender institutions when necessary to hear adjudication cases deemed sufficiently serious.

“These cases may merit a punishment of additional days to a prisoner’s time spent in custody if the prisoner or young person is found guilty.

“Only independent adjudicators can make an award of additional days as a punishment.

“A range of safeguarding measures are in place to make sure a prisoner or young person is physically and mentally fit to face an adjudication hearing and any subsequent punishment.

“Adjudication outcomes are regularly monitored to ensure no prisoner or young person is charged or punished for any reason other than their disciplinary behaviour.

Mr Slaughter had also requested information on the mental health diagnosis of young adults who received adjudications.

However, he was told information on diagnoses was not held centrally.