Concern Over Mentally Ill In Jail

The presence of mentally ill prisoners in Wales’s only private jail is a “constant concern,” says a new report. The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said it was also concerned there was no psychiatrist who specialised in young people with mental illness.

However, the report commended the company which runs Parc, Group 4 Securicor (G4S) on recent improvements.

Parc, near Bridgend, provides more than 1,110 places for adults, young offenders and non-convicted juveniles.

The IMB, which monitors the state of prison premises and the treatment of inmates, issued the report covering the period between March 2006 and February 2007.

According to its findings, there were more than 80 referrals of prisoners with mental healthcare needs between March and November 2006.

Also in November 2006 a mental health team at Parc treated 52 cases, the majority of them adults.

The presence of mentally ill people is also of “constant concern” to the management of the prison, it said.

Both the IMB and G4S voiced an “urgent need” for a dedicated “young offenders own interest” unit in south Wales.

The report also highlights the ineffective arrangements for the deportation of foreign national prisoners at the end of their sentences in the UK.

However, the IMB commended G4S on the “many improvements” at Parc since the chief inspector of prison’s visit in January 2006.

It hopes the progress noted in the report can be maintained with the anticipated expansion of the prison in the next few years.

G4S has set a target date for a new block, housing up to 450 inmates, to be opened in 2009, at Parc.