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Prison is unhappy with IMB report

Mark Branagan, head of prisoner safety at Bedford Prison

Mark Branagan, head of prisoner safety at Bedford Prison

A report which criticised rehabilitation provision at Bedford Prison missed out lots of good work according to bosses.

The report, by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) claimed that the prison was finding it ‘increasingly difficult to maintain the kind of services and environment that will persuade offenders to quit crime.’

IMB inspectors blamed ‘budget squeezing’ for ‘reducing the options available to management’.

But Mark Branagan, head of prisoner safety at Bedford Prison, claimed that the report had missed out many of the good work that staff do day to day.

He said: “It’s a bit of a double edged sword. We really do embrace what the IMB do in Bedford, but I don’t think the report reflects the excellent work that we have done in Bedford Prison.”

He added: “We are a local jail and as such we have a lot of prisoners that come through our care. The average stay is just over 30 days.

“Our primary function is to serve the courts and keep people in custody to protect the public, but for a local prison we do a heck of a lot.

“We have workshops here and teach bricklaying which is a portable skill that they can take back into the community. None of that was really alluded to with any gravitas.”

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