15:32 Wednesday 04 December 2013

Sudbury prison review for level of absconding

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

AN investigation into how an open prison near Uttoxeter is being run has been launched.

Sudbury Prison is currently under review due to the alarming amount of prisoners who have absconded in recent months.

The prison’s record for absconders has led to major criticism and Government chiefs will now weigh up whether stricter measures should be imposed in a bid to halt escapes.

Only last week it was revealed that six people who had fled the prison in recent months remain at large, while four inmates absconded in the space of two days last month.

Sudbury Prison houses inmates nearing the end of their sentences, who are gradually reintroduced into society, but Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths said he was not satisfied that necessary precautions were being taken about the types of offenders being moved to the prison.

Mr Griffiths demanded an investigation following a shocking incident earlier this year when violent offender David Curwin carried out a string of armed raids on banks and betting shops in London after absconding from Sudbury Prison.

Mr Griffiths said: “There is now a worrying pattern of absconding from Sudbury.

“I believe that the prisoners are being moved to Sudbury too early in their sentences, and that too many are escaping as a result.

“I think the management at Sudbury need to take a long hard look at the type of prisoner they are housing, in order to ensure they are not subjecting those living around the prison to unnecessary risk.”

The review comes after an incident earlier this year when two absconders burgled a house in Uttoxeter while on the run and one snatched a woman’s bag in the town centre.

At the time, Mr Griffiths said the number of prisoners who absconded from the prison was ‘worrying’.

He said: “Everybody recognises there is a place in the penal system for an open prison like Sudbury to help rehabilitate people back into the community, but there is clearly a problem when, on such a regular basis, prisoners are walking out of the gates.

“If this is happening so regularly, something is clearly going wrong with the type of prisoners they are putting in the open prisons.”

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