Derbyshire mother 'very concerned' for welfare of son, a Nottingham prison inmate

HMP Nottingham takes prisoners from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire courts.
HMP Nottingham takes prisoners from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire courts.

A distraught mother fears for the welfare of her son who is an inmate at Nottingham prison.

The mother, who currently lives in Derbyshire, has not heard from her boy in almost eight weeks.

Five HMP Nottingham inmates have died within a month.

The mother, who does not want to be identified, told the Derbyshire Times: "I'm very concerned about my son.

"I've not heard a thing from him since he was sent to HMP Nottingham on September 1.

"I sent him a cheque in accordance with the prison rules about six weeks ago but it still hasn't been cashed.

"I've since written to him twice and emailed cash via the prison system, asking him to respond as soon as possible, but have still not had a response and have no idea if he has received anything at all.

"My son has disappeared off the radar for a fairly long time when out of prison - but when he has been in prison, sadly many times all for minor offences, he has always without fail both phoned and written to us.

"This silence is most peculiar.

"However, this is his first time in HMP Nottingham.

"We very much fear he may be severely mentally disturbed, is being abused or has been injured.

"The biggest dread is he might appear as one of the next suicide statistics."

The mother added that the prison's chaplaincy service and mental health team were unable to put her into contact with her son.

The Ministry of Justice does not comment on individual cases.

The mother added: "The state of British jails in general is appalling.

"It appears that the majority of prison inmates are young men, in jail because of drug and alcohol abuse combined with mental illness which has led them to commit crimes.

"The Government must find the cash to establish secure medical units to treat and hopefully rehabilitate them, rather than just locking them up in what I imagine is a very dangerous and threatening environment which is clearly out of control, awash with drugs and violence and most definitely not working.

"Prison is quite the wrong place for these men who are difficult and in many cases severely disturbed and psychotic."

As previously reported, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is urging the Government to carry out an 'urgent investigation' into the deaths at Nottingham prison.

These include 23-year-old Marc Maltby, from Chesterfield, and Andrew Brown, 42, who previously lived in a cave in Barlow and died in hospital five days after he was found hanging in his cell at the prison.

HMP Nottingham is a male category B prison, which takes prisoners from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire courts, and has a capacity of 1,060 inmates.

In July, an Independent Monitoring Boards report said the prison had a problem with violence and drugs.

During the year up to February, there were 199 assaults on staff, 457 prisoner-on-prisoner attacks and 82 fires.

A spokesman for the MOJ said: "HMP Nottingham is working closely with health colleagues to increase the support available to vulnerable prisoners and is increasing staffing levels which will boost safety and stability at the prison - an extra 40 prison officers have recently been recruited.

"The prison has put a number of measures into place to tackle the threat of drugs and across the estate we are also taking unprecedented action to stop the supply of drugs, including training over 300 specialist drug dogs and making it a criminal offence to possess psychoactive substances."