Government aims to 'transform' jail after deaths of Derbyshire inmates

The late Marc Maltby.The late Marc Maltby.
The late Marc Maltby.
The Government has published an action plan which promises to 'transform' Nottingham prison.

Last month, Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, told justice secretary David Gauke that lives were at risk at the 'fundamentally unsafe' jail.

It is thought eight Nottingham HMP prisoners - including two from Derbyshire - have taken their own lives in the past two years.

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Inspections between 2016 and 2018 found an increase in the number of inmates self-harming and high levels of drugs, violence and assaults.

This week, the Ministry of Justice said NHS England will support Nottingham prison with an additional £200,000 to improve mental health services.

In addition, specialist healthcare staff will spend more time with prisoners most at risk of self-harm, more detailed mental health assessments will be completed by trained professionals and a suicide prevention policy has been launched.

Mr Gauke said: "I've been absolutely clear that conditions in some of our prisons are unacceptable - and I will not stand for them.

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"We've already taken immediate action to address failings identified by the chief inspector - but this action plan is only the beginning.

"The most troubling and tragic of the problems at HMP Nottingham is the unacceptable level of self-harm and deaths.

"To address this, we have established a new suicide prevention policy, boosted the mental health assessment and referrals process and got extra support from the NHS.

"But we can't stop there and I am committed to getting the basics right at Nottingham and across the estate.

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"We must stop the drugs, violence and self-harm and clean up our prisons so we can focus on making them safe and secure places for rehabilitation."

The body of Newbold man Marc Maltby, 23, was found in Nottingham prison last October.

His mother described him as a 'a loving, bubbly, wonderful person who touched many hearts' and spoke of her grief at his death.

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Marc was the jail's fifth inmate to die within a month and the second from Derbyshire.

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Andrew Brown, 42, who lived in a cave in Baslow, died in hospital last September - five days after he was found hanging in his single cell at HMP Nottingham.

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