HMP Altcourse(December 17, 2014)
Following the murder of an inmate in HMP Altcourse last month, Walton MP Steve Rotheram has reacted to the news that a new director has been put in place.
Steve explained, “In recent months I have grown more and more concerned about HMP Altcourse. HM Inspectorate of Prisons Nick Hardwick released a report in October which was less than favourable following an unannounced visit to the prison in June. He identified several areas of concern such as; the ease in which prisoners had access to drugs, a lack of intelligence over gang warfare within the prison and safety arrangements for prisoners on their first night in the jail.
“Following the release of this report I submitted a number of questions to the Ministry of Justice. On November 11th 2014 I questioned the minister in the House of Commons on drug-related issues at Altcourse and, following the murder which occurred in the prison 72 hours later, I wrote to the minister seeking urgent answers to very serious safety questions. At this moment in time, I am yet to receive a detailed response.
“I also wrote to the Prison Director Bob McColm to inform him that upon receipt of this ministerial response, I would revisit the prison for a meeting to discuss security arrangements. Now that Mr McColm has been replaced, I will seek a meeting with his successor.
“I also hope to meet with Nick Hardwick in the New Year to discuss his report and his views on the current state of Altcourse prison. The public should be confident that I am aware of the issues that have overwhelmed Altcourse in recent months and I am working with the relevant agencies to find solutions as quickly as possible”.