East Yorkshire inmates oppose anti-extremist isolation

HMP Full Sutton sign
Image caption The isolation unit at HMP Full Sutton opened in March 2018

Prisoners held in an anti-extremism unit in East Yorkshire have complained that isolating them from other inmates is an "injustice", a report has said.

Four men in the block at HMP Full Sutton have made 108 complaints since the unit opened in March last year.

The report by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said managing the unit had been difficult, with "prolonged periods of disengagement" between inmates and staff.

Overall the IMB rated the jail as safe.

The facility is one of three in English prisons set up as part of efforts to clamp down on radicalisation behind bars.

The report said: "Prisoners have challenged the notion of being held in a separate unit, seeing it as an injustice.

"Men within the unit have perceived themselves to be discriminated against in a number of ways, and take the view that being held in the unit is discrimination in itself."

The IMB found that prisoners in the high-security jail near Pocklington were "treated fairly by the regime there."

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "Separation centres are designed to house only the most dangerous terrorists and extremists - we do not have targets to hit and do not simply fill them arbitrarily.

"Instead we work closely with police and other agencies to very carefully assess which prisoners should be housed in these centres to make absolutely sure that we manage this threat appropriately."

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