Inspection of Jersey's La Moye prison begins

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An inspection of Jersey's La Moye prison has begun, eight years after the last full inspection identified 163 shortcomings at the facility.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons officials will spend the next five days checking conditions at the St Brelade site.

A critical report in 2005 raised concerns about safety.

The States of Jersey Prison Service said all but five of the recommendations made following the report had been enacted.

When asked about the eight-year gap between inspections, Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons for England and Wales, said: "It is a long time.

"We come to Jersey at the request of the governor and at the request of the government there.

'Political matter'

"We don't have a right to inspect and so it's a matter for them when they invite us but certainly in England and Wales we would inspect prisons much more regularly than that."

Prisons in England and Wales are usually inspected every five years.

Bill Millar, the governor at La Moye prison, said decisions relating to the timing of inspection requests were a political matter.

Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand was not available for comment.

The concerns raised about the mixed use prison in 2005 included the housing of adult and juvenile prisoners in the same areas.

Measures to reduce violence, to support vulnerable prisoners and to provide more education had also been put in place.

Mr Hardwick said a draft report would be sent to the prison service within two months and a final report published within four months.

He said considerable feedback would also be given on the last day of the visit, on Friday.

"The prison should be able to get on with addressing some of what we find from the moment we leave, we hope," he said.

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