Fifty prisoners to be moved out of Nottingham prison as Government takes urgent action

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Dozens of inmates are to be transferred out of HMP Nottingham as part of urgent measures to stabilise the crisis-hit jail.

Last month, a watchdog demanded the Government intervene to improve safety at the prison .

Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke used a new "urgent notification" system for the first time to put Justice Secretary David Gauke on notice that immediate action was needed.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published an action plan for the prison, which held 925 men at the end of January.

To help improve stability, the establishment stopped holding young adult inmates for a temporary period.

Now 50 prisoners aged between 18 and 21 who are currently at the jail will be removed following their next court appearance or earlier.

In addition, the prison service will prioritise moving category B prisoners out of HMP Nottingham into high security facilities.

Under the urgent notification process introduced in November, the Chief Inspector can inform the Secretary of State of any urgent and severe prison problems found during an inspection.

Inspectors visited HMP Nottingham last month, the third visit in just over three years.

Between the 2016 and 2018 inspections, levels of self-harm had risen "very significantly" and eight prisoners were believed to have taken their own lives.

There were high levels of drugs, violence and assaults, HM Inspectorate of Prisons said.

Care for the most vulnerable inmates will be "dramatically improved" with £200,000 additional funding to improve mental health services, the MoJ said.

The prison has also committed to recruiting 100 new officers, completed over 800 maintenance tasks, including repairing windows and damaged cells, and carried out a full review of safety and violence.

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

"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.

"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."