Prison report in drug and complaint culture worries

Kirkham Prison
Kirkham Prison
Share this article

An independent report into Kirkham Prison has revealed concerns about drug use – but has praised leadership at the facility.

The Independent Monitoring Board report into the Fylde coast prison said Governer Graham Beck’s appointment last year had “made a positive and settling effect on staff and prisoners alike”, but it had been a “challenging year” as the prison population increased to 630.

The report also revealed concerns about the use of – and testing for – the drug spice, a form of synthetic cannabis, with inmates having no right of appeal if they are found to have used it, but are adamant they have not used it.

Further worries included “a feeling among the men that large numbers of men are being shipped back to higher category establishments if they raise any issues or complaints” at the prison.

It was also revealed inmates are allowed access to tattoo removal – in a bid to make them more employable on leaving prison.

A Prison Service spokesman said HMP Kirkham took the misuse of drugs extremely seriously, and made it clear it will not be tolerated.

He also argued there was “no evidence” about prisoners being re-classified as a result of making complaints.

The spokesman added: “The IMB report has highlighted that HMP Kirkham continues to perform well as a resettlement prison, with the new governor praised for his positive work with both staff and prisoners.

“The report will now be considered fully by ministers, who will respond in due course.”