Escape Prison Named One Of The Best

A controversial open prison which has seen at least 10 inmates abscond since June has been named one of the best in England and Wales. Two paedophiles and two murderers are among those who have escaped from HMP Prescoed, near Usk, South Wales, in the past few months.

But the jail, together with nearby Usk closed prison, is now one of six to be awarded High Performing Prison status by the Home Office.

Director general of the Prison Service Phil Wheatley commended HMP Prescoed for its outstanding work in the year 2005/06.

Mr Wheatley said: “The high performing establishments highlighted this year fully deserve this recognition.

“They are delivering exceptional levels of care and support for some of the most difficult and vulnerable people in society, all the time looking to further improve the way they work.”

But the recent walk-outs at Prescoed have led to calls by local campaigners for what they call “dangerous” prisoners to be placed elsewhere.

Monmouth MP and AM David Davies, who is awaiting a response from Prisons Minister Gerry Sutcliffe on the issue, said: “This award just makes you wonder what is coming next.

“Not only have they managed to lose I don’t know how many prisoners in the last few months, but two of them were very dangerous child rapists.

“They have also tried to cover up the fact others have gone missing.”

The public were only warned about the disappearance of convicted murderer Lee Dewhurst from the prison in September, two months after he escaped.

Prescoed Prison and Gwent Police have since reviewed their joint policy regarding the disclosure of information about absconders and now publicise details about every inmate who walks out.