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19 November 2006
BEHINDS BARRED

INMATES at one of Scotland's largest prisons have been banned from having posters of naked women in their cells.

A directive issued by the new governor of Saughton prison, Edinburgh, asks lags to take down lads' mags pin-ups featuring the likes of Jordan and Michelle Marsh.

Insiders claim the change has been forced by the number of sex offenders pushed into the jail's main halls because of overcrowding.

In a letter placed on Saughton's main notice board governor Dan Gunn said: "Starting November 13 nude posters will not be allowed.

"Prisoners can keep such posters or magazines in their rooms.

"The change in policy is that any such pictures will not be on display."

A prison insider said: "The guys are going off their heads about this.

"Prisoners have been putting up girlie posters on the wall of their cells since prisons were first built.

"The atmospehere has been made even worse by the fact that everyone is blaming the sex offenders for it.

They all used to be kept in the same part of the prison where warders could keep an eye on what they were sent.

"But because of the overcrowding issue they are now spread throughout different wings. Top brass don't want them to get their hands on unsuitable material so everyone else is being punished."

Derek Turner, of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "This policy is partly due to the number of women working in prisons, although nude posters have been discouraged for a while."

And SNP Justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill added: "Inmates have some rights to privacy but they have to abide by the rules. It is no great hardship to do without soft porn."

Lads' mags are traditionally used as currency between inmates and are traded for chocolate and tobacco.

Serial killer Denis Nilsen successfully used Human Rights legislation to argue that he should be supplied hardcore gay porn in jail.

 

The Lord of The Rings (Martin Hamilton) has yet to make a request.


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INSIDE THE WENDY HOUSE

What life was really like in segregation unit of notorious jail.

BROKEN prison boss David McCloskey once held the respect of Scotland's most dangerous criminals.

As head of Barlinnie's segregation unit, dubbed the Wendy House, he had the reputation of being one of the toughest officers in the country.

He was locked in with gangsters like Ricardo Blanco, George "Goofy" Docherty, William "Basil" Burns, Arthur "Fat Boy" Thompson Jnr, Tam Bagan and "One- Eyed" JonahMcKenzie in the late 90s.

He was also on first-name terms with Limbs in the Loch fiend William Beggs and Rambo killer Andrew Somerville.

David said: "I knew all these guys well and they had a lot of respect for me because I was tough but fair.

"They knew that when I said 'No' I meant it, and there was no going back - but I would still make sure they were treated fairly."

David met notorious Spanish hitman Ricardo Blanco when he was serving a 17-year sentence for the execution of drugs courier Paul Thorne.

Blanco was released from Saughton Prison in Edinburgh earlier this year.

David said: "I used to refer to Ricardo Blanco as the talking donkey out of Shrek because he just wouldn't shut up.

"They would only tell you what they wanted you to know and as you can imagine they were very manipulative so you had to know how to handle them.

"Blanco was a case in point. He was going off the rails and wasn't settling down at all. He hated authority and was a difficult prisoner.

"He was one of the most violent but I managed to get him settled down eventually in the Wendy House just by knowing how to treat him.

"Blanco never attacked me but getting beaten up was an accepted part of the job - that's just what happens.

"Death threats were commonplace. I've had my family threatened from prisoners who said they knew where I lived.

"I was told there was a contract out on me at one time when I was in Shotts because I hadn't allowed a prisoner to move up the system and because I told him he was an a***.

"They knew I wouldn't put up with any of their nonsense and if they didn't like it then that was just tough.

"I tried to be as tight as I could and tried to make sure they didn't have access to things like drugs. I was in charge of a maximum of 18 of the most dangerous men in Scotland."

William Beggs was jailed for 20 years in 2001 for the murder of 18-year-old Barry Wallace in Kilmarnock.

He sexually assaulted Barry before cutting up his body and dumping the limbs in Loch Lomond and his head in the sea off Troon, Ayrshire.

David recalled "Beggsy" as a troublemaker who would often turn to the rule-book to try and get his own way.

He said: "Beggsy was a pain in the a***. He was a moaning-faced git and the most litigious of the prisoners. He was never overtly violent but you had to be very careful dealing with him. He was unpredictable and very dangerous."

David said underworld thug William "Basil" Burns - jailed for 15 years for shooting a woman during a #15,500 robbery - was a danger to himself.

He explained: "Basil was totally institutionalised. He never really grew up because he spent most of his life in prison.

"I treated most of them like children because if you gave them an inch they would take a mile and they would just take the mickey out of you.

"Fat Boy Thompson was a funny boy. He was an embarrassment to his father and could never really live up to him.

"He was protected by Tam Bagan and another con called One Eyed Jonah - who became blind before he died - but he was nothing but a wannabe gangster who never had the kudos to carry it off."

Fat Boy was jailed for drug dealing but in 1991, months after being released, he was shot dead outside the Ponderosa, home to his dad Arthur - the Godfather.

Bagan worked for the Godfather as an enforcer, along with the young Paul Ferris.

Jonah McKenzie also worked for Thompson Snr and had been jailed with Fat Boy for drug dealing in 1985.

He was blinded in one eye when a drunk smashed a glass into his face in a Shettleston bar. The other eye was later slashed out by one of the Barlanark Team. David also recalled when Goofy Docherty - jailed for seven years in 1996 for attempted murder - was transferred from Perth to Barlinnie. Goofy was killed on the streets of Glasgow earlier this year.

David said: "When I got him he was out of control and expected everything but I soon got him settled after he knew he wasn't going to get what he wanted.

"There are few governors these days who stand up to them. They just give them what they want for a quiet life."


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24 November 2006
POLL RIGHTS FOR CONS

THE human rights of prisoners could be violated if they don't get the vote at next year's Holyrood elections, a court heard yesterday.

Aidan O'Neill told the Registration Appeal Court that legal actions could be brought by cons who said they had been wrongly disenfranchised.

The QC said: "This is not a theoretical discussion. There are a number of prisoners who have already applied to be on the electoral register."

He asked three judges to make a declaration that a decision to deny a prisoner the right to a vote was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The judges are expected to give a ruling at a later date.


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Clean jails 'could cut violence'
A prison cell
Clean cells and well-trained staff could reduce prison violence
Clean prison cells and well-trained staff could cut violence among the UK's most dangerous inmates, a report to the British Psychological Society claims.

Psychologist Dr Lorraine Johnstone found environmental factors hugely affected prisoners' behaviour.

She identified risk factors at a Scottish jail which should help all prison and secure hospital staff.

They included staff experience, a prison's history of violent attacks and the physical state of jail cells.

Traditionally, the scientific approach has been to identify violent factors in the prisoner
Dr Lorraine Johnstone

Dr Johnstone said violence within secure hospitals and prison settings was a significant problem with far-reaching consequences for patients, prisoners, staff and visitors.

She said: "Traditionally, the scientific approach has been to identify violent factors in the prisoner - such as criminal risk factors and personality disorders.

"These are all very important, but our approach would say other influences have got to be looked at too.

"For instance, what does the place look like? Are patients being put in wards and cells with damp dripping down the walls or with worn carpets?

"And is there a history of violence in the institution? These can have an effect on prisoners' behaviour."

Dr Johnstone, an honorary research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Violence at Glasgow Caledonian University, will present her criteria - named Prism (Promoting Risk Intervention by Situational Management) - at the British Psychological Society's Scottish Branch annual conference in Perth.

Identify risks

She said studies at Glasgow's Barlinnie prison had shown that once a larger range of assessments were used to control violent prisoners, the number of aggressive incidents reduced sharply.

Prism has been piloted in a number of prison establishments since, and has been found to identify risks as well as areas for good practice, she added.

Dr Johnstone said she hoped the scheme could eventually be used by other facilities.

She added: "Hopefully we will have a systematic risk assessment trial that can be used by institutions to develop their services."

The two-day British Psychological Society conference closes on Saturday and will be attended by about 100 experts.


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Sub-standard food can affect behaviour, say...

Sub-standard food can affect behaviour, say experts.
Picture: Ian Rutherford

 

Porridge? Yes, but inmates also ask for more fruit and salad...

FISH, fresh fruit and salad have emerged as the foods Scotland's prisoners most want to see on their plate.

The wish-list of healthy fare, which studies indicate can improve human behaviour, has emerged in a new survey of prisoner attitudes conducted by the Scottish Prison Service. Asked which foods inmates wanted more of, the biggest number - 49 per cent - voted for fish.

Second most popular choice was fresh fruit, followed by chicken, salad and red meat.

More than a third said they wanted more healthy options, while only 22 per cent asked for more chips and 19 per cent wanted more burgers.

The results, which may be welcomed by ministers intent on tackling Scotland's obesity record, come as the Food Standards Agency joins forces with prison canteen staff to drive up the nutritional standards of their meals. They will present a menu to prison managers that provides recommended daily levels of potassium, sodium and other essential nutrients in a bid for more resources.

Prison chefs calculate it would cost around £900,000 a year to upgrade the food currently served to Scotland's 7,200 prisoners, and insist it would be a worthwhile investment. Currently, around £4 million is spent feeding prisoners.

John Buchan, catering manager at HMP Edinburgh, said: "We try to put as many healthy options on as we can, but we have had no increase in the food budget in ten years. It's still £1.57 a day, the same since 1996.

"You are what you eat. The problem is the guys here have been brought up with chips. We're trying to do what we can to change their eating habits but it's difficult."

A spokeswoman for FSA Scotland said: "The FSA is working with the Scottish Prison Service on the development of nutritional standards, including nutrient and food standards."

Last year, Scotland's chief inspector of prisons, Andrew McLellan, attacked the food given to prisoners, insisting it was "impossible" for inmates to receive five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

"Encouraging prisoners to eat nutritious food might be a contribution not only to healthier living but also to less destructive behaviour," he said.

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Pregnant pause for escaped inmate
Castle Huntly
Gary Stephen absconded from Castle Huntly open prison
A prisoner who went on the run to see his girlfriend, who he had not met for six months, turned up to discover she was four months pregnant.

Gary Stephen realised partner Tracy Miller was pregnant with another man's child before he phoned police and asked to taken back to the jail.

The 35-year-old, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, admitted absconding from Castle Huntly prison, near Dundee, on 19 November.

At Perth Sheriff Court, Stephen had 20 days added to his sentence.

'Back to prison'

Solicitor Paul Ralph, defending, told the court that Stephen had only been at the open prison for little over a week when he absconded after he had trouble getting in touch with his now ex-partner.

He said: "He did find his now ex-partner. She opened the door and he saw she was about four months pregnant. He had some idea then why he could not get hold of her.

"He left and went back to where he had been staying and phoned the police to come and get him and take him back to prison."

Sheriff Michael Fletcher heard that Stephen was sent to prison for four-and-a-half years in July 2004 for a series of housebreaking offences.


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The New Gulags.

THE EXPRESSION "rape rooms" has become synonymous with the torture chambers of the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein and some of the other more brutal third world dictatorships that litter the planet. But it isn't just tin-pot tyrants who employ the most sadistic and cruel methods of repression - if Amnesty International is to be believed, then the authoritarian state controlled by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin is also committing acts of torture against civilians that beggar belief.

In a new report, entitled The Russian Federation: Torture And Forced Confessions In Detention, Amnesty details a multiplicity of human rights abuses by the Russian state against its own citizens.

The organisation has "documented dozens of cases of alleged torture and ill-treatment with a view to extracting a confession in police custody and pre-trial detention across the Russian Federation since May 2002. The confessions then formed the basis of the criminal case against the accused, on the basis of which they were convicted." In 2005, Russian human rights groups documented at least 114 cases of torture supported by medical records.

Most torture occurs in police stations and holding centres. Methods involved the use of ropes and truncheons, plus electrocution. Victims have also had gas masks put over their heads and the air supply cut.

Many have been held incommunicado in secret detention centres. One victim was Aslan Umakhanov, a lawyer from Yekaterinburg. He was detained and beaten on March 29, 2006. Despite showing signs of torture in court, a judge authorised continued detention. He was subjected to electric shocks for six hours and made to sign a confession.

Prison colony IK-2 in Yekaterinburg is infamous for torture. Amnesty says that in IK-2, convicted prisoners are used to force confessions out of other detainees. And in exchange for early release or privileges, groups of up to six convicts beat and raped detainees who refused to confess. Amnesty adds that victims "described a room where suspects were allegedly raped. They say it is a small room with a metal table fixed to the floor and straps to secure the suspect's wrists and ankles."

In Rostov-on-Don, 15-year-old "Sergei" was savagely beaten and suffocated until he lost consciousness twice because the police wanted him to confess to stealing earrings. He signed a confession at knife-point.

Some prisoners who have complained to the courts about being tortured have been sent straight back into police custody to suffer reprisals. State prosecutors routinely fail to charge officials with acts of torture.

On June 27, 2005, 500 prisoners conducted a "self-harm protest" against abuse in the prison colony at Lgov.

The worst case of police brutality occurred in Blagoveshchensk in Bashkortostan in December 2004. After a minor riot between police and locals over arrests, security units rampaged through the town from December 10-14. At least 1000 people were injured, and 2000 rounded-up.

The "extraordinary sweep" was sanctioned by the internal affairs ministry and the local mayor. Some 40 masked police special units terrorised the town, beating detainees. There is evidence that girls were stripped naked in the district internal affairs offices and that rapes took place in a specific room. Marat Khayrullin, a correspondent with the dissident newspaper Novaya Gazeta on which the murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya worked, said: "The sanctuary of totalitarianism is what lies in store for us."

The local prosecutor refused to organise medicals for police victims; a local newspaper which reported the events was closed down, and a man pursuing a claim against the authorities over the abuse of his teenage son was fired from his state job.

 

****************************************

Novaya Gazeta.

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Novaya Gazeta is a Russian newspaper. A semi-weekly covering political and social issues, it is published in Moscow, Russian regions and some foreign countries. The general circulation is now near 550,000 copies. In addition, it has a colour monthly supplement with a 75,000-copy circulation.

Novaya Gazeta is known for being critical of Russian government policy. Anna Politkovskaya wrote for Novaya Gazeta until her assassination on October 7, 2006. The journalist told in an essay that the editors received

"visitors every day in our editorial office who have nowhere else to bring their troubles, because the Kremlin finds their stories off-message, so that the only place they can be aired is in our newspaper, Novaya Gazeta."

(Politkovskaya 2006)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and State Duma Deputy Alexander Lebedev own 49% of the newspaper and the paper's staff controls the remaining 51% of shares. (MosNews 2006)

 References:

 External links:


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27 November 2006
KNOCK DOWN BAR-L

THE boss of Scotland's biggest prison wants it flattened and rebuilt - even though taxpayers have just spent £21million upgrading it.

Barlinnie governor Bill McKinlay, left, says the Victorian jail, which he calls Glasgow's Alcatraz, is no longer "fit for purpose". And he believes it should be replaced with a brand new £60million complex, complete with a state-of-the-art gym and counselling facilities for cons.

McKinlay said: "The buildings here are antiquated. There is no point spending any more on Barlinnie without considering a complete rebuild."

The governor made his plea just months after the £21million revamp of Bar-L was completed.

And he conceded that his prison, home to 1500 inmates, is as notorious as Alcatraz became in America.

He said: "Barlinnie is infamous - it has been written about in books and poetry and it even had a whisky named after it.

"It is in the folklore, the history, the culture of Glasgow. That is why I am making the comparison with Alcatraz."

The improvement programme at Barlinnie included fitting toilets in cells to end the degrading practice of "slopping out".

And McKinlay insists it was right to spend the £21million - even though the work didn't come close to solving all the jail's problems.

He said: "I don't think the £21million could have been better used and it wasn't a waste of money.

"We achieved what we set out to do. We wanted toilets in the cells, we wanted better conditions in cells. It was for the necessities."

However, although slopping out did end in 2004, McKinlay conceded that other parts of the revamp have not lived up to expectations.

The improvements included a new multimillion-pound area for visitors. And McKinlay admitted: "Although it is fairly recent and modern, it could have been designed better.

"The demands have changed since then. I need a larger space and I would like a more relaxed regime."

The new visitor centre was criticised last week by former senior Barlinnie warder David McCloskey.

And McCloskey, who had just received a £50,000 payout for the stress he says he suffered while working at the jail, also claimed that convicts "ruled the roost" in cell blocks infested with drugs.

He told the Record: "I would not know who was in charge of our jails - the prison service or the prisoners.

"There are so many drugs floating about in jail. It is out of control.

"Prisons are so overcrowded and short-staffed that they are at breaking point.

"If an officer reports a drugs find it doesn't look good for the statistics. Some of the guys ignore drugs if they see them and some have even flushed drugs down the loo."

McKinlay never worked with McCloskey and insists he doesn't recognise the grim picture he painted. He is adamant that he is in full control of his jail.

He said: "It is not a difficult and volatile prison - far from it. If it was like the descriptions some people paint, I wouldn't be working in it

"The prison is not awash with drugs. We do random tests on prisoners and regular searches, we scan visitors and mail, and there are programmes to get people off drugs.

"The only way to be clear of drugs would be to cut the prisoners off completely from the outside world.

"But we should be looking to try to help people back to a normal way of life and you cannot do that through isolation. That is not acivilised society."

McKinlay said 80 per cent of his inmates are drug abusers. But he insisted: "Officers are not forced to turn a blind eye to drugs."

He went on: "We are not short-staffed. We had 588 in 2002 and the moment we have 596.

"There are fewer assaults on staff and morale is OK. I don't see anyone here with their heads down or walking about sombre, and there is not a high turnover of staff.

"Prisoners certainly do not rule the roost. This is a well ordered, controlled, professionally operated prison.

"We have very few incidents, because it is not in the best interests of the prisoners to have them. Most of them just want to serve their sentences and get back to their families.

"That's not to say things don't happen. We have arguments, fights, fires, just like any community. But they are not regular occurrences and we deal with them.

"There has only been one major incident - the riots in 1987. For a prison this size, that is quite incredible."

McKinlay is desperate to provide better facilities for his cons - particularly a new gym.

He said: "Your readers might say the prisoners don't deserve it. But it might help address some of the issues if we can get people to understand that lifestyle and fitness is important.

"At the moment the gym is in a workshop and it is not ideal. My wish would be to completely rebuild it so it became more useful in terms of trying to tackle reoffending."

The gym is just one item on McKinlay's wish list. He said: "We have enhanced the conditions in Barlinnie but it is still not suitable for what we want to do. The buildings are not fit for purpose.

"We have 600 staff, 1500 prisoners and 7000 visitors. We need counselling rooms, programme rooms, activity rooms and a whole host of things that were not considered necessary when the initial money was spent.

"The demands have changed since then. If I could wave a magic wand I would like plasticine walls, so I could redesign and meet demands from prisoners and visitors.

"The prison is spread over 22 acres. Prisoners and staff are walking about in the rain because there is no connection between the buildings, and there is lack of space outside the residential halls.

"My dream would be to have a new purpose- built prison on the same plot of land.

"That is being considered by the Scottish Prison Service but they are building other establishments at the moment.

"First, they need to complete work to upgrade Glenochil, Edinburgh, Perth and Cornton Vale. Once that is finished, the next phase should involve Barlinnie, but there is no timescale for that."

McKinlay admitted that building a new Barlinnie would not leave "much change from £60million". But he rejected claims that convicts don't deserve better facilities.

He said: "At the end of the day they are still sons, brothers, fathers, uncles - human beings."


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28 November 2006
PRISON DEATH...

A MAN locked up for smuggling drugs into jail for his killer friend has been found dead after serving just two weeks of his sentence.

Andrew Duthie, 37, smuggled heroin and cannabis hidden in a Mars Bar into Shotts Prison for murderer James Lovell.

Duthie, a single dad, from Leith, Edinburgh, was sentenced to eight months in jail at Hamilton Sheriff Court on November 15 after admitting the offence.

He was found dead just days after being sent to Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison.

Last night, a spokesman said: "A prisoner at HM Prison Barlinnie died on Saturday November 25 2006.

"A fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course."


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Goldie calls for jail drug tests
Annabel Goldie
Annabel Goldie says too much crime in Scotland is fuelled by drugs
Drug tests should be mandatory for new prisoners and all inmates should be tested regularly, according to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Annabel Goldie is to tell Conservative election candidates later that there should a "carrot and stick" approach to drugs in jails.

She will say there should be privileges for those who stay clean and sanctions for prisoners who fail drug tests.

Anyone supplying drugs to prisoners should also be punished, she will say.

The West of Scotland region MSP will call for visiting rights to be withdrawn in such cases and for criminal charges to be brought.

Zero tolerance

The party would also consider making prison visits take place behind glass screens to prevent drugs from being passed over.

"If we cannot adopt a zero tolerance approach to drugs in prisons, then there is no hope of winning the war," she will say.

She will also call for "proactive" rehabilitation programmes that work with addicts before and after release.

"The benefits to society will be great if we find the political will to take this task on," she will tell candidates.

"It will be good for addicts, good for their families and good for society as a whole because so much crime in Scotland is fuelled by drugs."


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3 December 2006
ARMED ROBBER TRIES TO SELLS THE KEY TO BARLINNIE

AN ex-con who claimed he had smuggled a master key out of Barlinnie Prison tried to sell it to the Sunday Mail.

Stupid Scott Yorke, 39, wanted our undercover investigator to pay £9000 for the key he claimed could "open any cell door" in the jail.

Yorke - a convicted armed robber - then dropped his price by £4000.

And, trying to hide his face behind an Aberdeen FC scarf, he said he would take £5000 because he liked our investigator.

But the joke was on the hood in the hooded top.

A jail insider said yesterday: "It looks like one of the guards has had a laugh. That key wouldn't open a tin of sardines."

Yorke has been touting the key around Scotland and claims he bought it for £200 from a prison officer because he and his gang wanted access to a child abuser in the jail.

Yorke, of Dundee, who was released in September, said they changed their plans and he decided to sell the key.

Last night, Yorke's claims were dismissed by the Scottish Prison Service. They said the key had been used by prison warders as a marker to show they had been to various parts of the building 10 YEARS AGO.

Yorke tried to sell us the key at a meeting outside Burger King in Kingsway Retail Park, Dundee.

He claimed his name was Tommy but later admitted his real identity.

The conman boasted the key could open the cells in A Hall of Barlinnie.

He said: "If you ask prison security, they will find a key missing from the black box of the second floor in A Hall.

"That key will open any cell in Barlinnie. The screws are supposed to use it if they need to get into a cell quickly. The officer who offered to sell me it said he could get me it for £200.

"Eight of us agreed because we found out a guy we were hanging around with was a beast. The officer said we could use it to beat him up.

"We changed our minds because we thought we might end up killing him and end up with longer sentences.

"I decided to keep the key because I have my own plans."

Yorke added: "I've obviously made copies because, next time I get taken into prison, it could help me out.

"I will give it to you for £9000 or we can come to an arrangement of £5000 because I like you."

An SPS spokesman said: "We are delighted with the Sunday Mail for bringing this matter to our attention."


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11 December 2006
BAN PRISON WARDERS' SANTA HATS.

A GRUMPY prisoner has demanded a ban on warders wearing Santa hats at Christmas time.

Inmate Jamie Chapman said the cheery headgear was "rubbing salt in the wound" of inmates who were missing relatives during the festive season.

Chapman's moan was in a letter to lags' paper Inside Time. But it was slammed as "ludicrous" by prison officers - who said they were only trying to cheer people up.

The inmate at Onley Prison, near Rugby, Warwickshire, said: "It's the last thing prisoners want to see when they step out of their cells on Christmas morning."

Prison Officers' Association general secretary Brian Caton said: "This is ludicrous. It's a little bit morbid at a time of year when we do our best to lighten things up a bit."

He added staff had a lot of sympathy for many prisoners at this time of year.

But he said: "If they don't want to take part in any lighter activities, they are free to stay in their cells."

 

***************************

Scottish prisons


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23 December 2006
HEROIN ADDICTS FOIL INMATES' TURKEY PLAN...

PRISONERS are facing a dried-out Christmas dinner after addict inmates pinched the tin foil needed to cook the turkey.

It was swiped from the kitchen in Edinburgh's Saughton jail so it can be used to smoke heroin.

They have become desperate to get hold of foil since sweets wrapped in silver paper - such as Tunnock's Tea Cakes, Polos and KitKats - were banned from shopping lists.

A source at the jail said: "Tin foil's quite sought after by prisoners that use heroin.

"In prison inmates can actually swap foil for small amounts of drugs, it's so valuable.

"This was a big roll and for some cons it will be like Christmas come early.

Click here to find out more!

"The rest of the cons are facing some very tough turkey if it's not replaced. Everyone knows tin foil is essential for cooking Christmas dinner.

Inmates get to enjoy a full five-course turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day.

Kitchen workers will spend hours preparing the prisoners' turkey.

Jail bosses last night said catering staff had not ordered tin foil specially for the Christmas dinner, but it is understood the missing roll was part of an earlier batch kept over for the occasion.

Future stocks of tin foil are set to be kept under lock and key at the establishment to avoid further thefts.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: "We were not aware of the alleged incident.

"The prison has not purchased this item for some time."

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UK crime rate rise detailed, prison population surge predicted in leaked report...

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A recent UK Home Office report prepared for Prime Minister Tony Blair details the country's first increase in crime since the mid-1990s and predicts a massive 25% increase in its prison population over the next five years. The report also observes a growing gap between Britain's poorest and wealthiest residents and details a lack of cohesion among ethnic groups contributing to an upward crime trend. It makes suggestions for reducing crime including heroin vaccinations, a ban on alcohol advertising, chemical castration, ID chip implants, public shaming, parenting classes, and the use of bounty hunters. To increase cohesion in society, the report suggests a ban on face-obscuring veils in schools.

The content of the leaked memo is embarrassing for Blair's
Labour Party, which claims to be tough on crime. It predicts "there is still little chance that a crime will be detected and result in a caution or conviction" and states that nine out of ten crimes were either not responded to or went unpunished.

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3 January 2007
£100M JAIL GO-AHEAD.

PLANS for a £100million prison to house up to 700 offenders have been approved by the Executive.

The jail will be built at the existing Low Moss Prison site near Glasgow.

The plan was given the go-ahead despite opposition from East Dunbartonshire Council and local people.

Councillors refused planning permission for the new jail in 2003. But an appeal by the Scottish Prison Service was successful and the decision has now been backed by ministers, provided a £300,000 relief road is built at the site.

Low Moss, which can house 330 inmates, opened as a temporary prison in 1969.

The new, much larger jail could eventually hold high-risk prisoners.

Last night an Executive spokesman said: "Ministers have advised the SPS that they are minded to grant outline planning permission subject to conditions."


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