The recent Panorama investigation is just the latest in a long series of damning reports on HMP Northumberland. It is clear that this prison is not even close to being fit for purpose; even within a prison system that is in the midst of a widespread crisis HMP Northumberland stands out as a beacon of disorder and mismanagement. Drugs, violence, contraband and disorder are all rife in this prison and its understaffed guards appear powerless to deal with the issue. We need to have some respect for those who staff our jails, and provide them with the resources needed to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
Report after report has stressed that HMP Northumberland lacks discipline, security, staff and funding but Sodexo Justice Services have failed to address the problem. If private sector organisations are failing, government must take back control and restore order.
Some argue that prisons should focus on rehabilitation, others say that prisons should focus on punishment – HMP Northumberland currently provides neither.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East