OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 11:38 AM – Tuesday, March 14, 2023
About 18 female correctional officers have been removed or have removed themselves from duty following reports of carrying out illicit affairs with inmates inside United Kingdom’s “cushiest prison.”
It is alleged that within Britain’s largest prison, HMP Berwyn, female guards engaged in sexual acts inside of cells and smuggled contraband to inmates.
Among those who are being accused include Jennifer Gavan, who was bribed to bring in a phone by Alex Coxon with $180 and thus was sentenced to eight months for misbehavior, Jailor Emily Watson who had performed a sex act on heroin dealer John McGee, and Ayshea Gunn who sent pornographic pictures and films to armed robber Khuram Razaq. She as well smuggled him female underwear. Both Gunn and Watson were sentenced to prison.
The chair of the Prison Officers’ Association Mark Fairhurst has faulted the hiring procedure. He claimed that staff being recruited don’t have face-to-face interviews… it’s all done on Zoom” and so the “wrong kind of women” had been selected to fill the posts.
“A lot of people getting these jobs don’t have enough life experience and are susceptible to conditioning from prisoners,” Fairhurst said.
HMP Berwyn claims that it is a “modern prison” by having no bars on the windows. The category C resettlement and training prison is “committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.” It is also aimed to rehabilitate offenders by taking a different approach to a traditional prison.
According to the facility’s website, over 2,000 men live at Berwyn in a mixture of single and shared rooms. The prisoners are provided with a phone for making outgoing calls, as well as a shower, toilet, and a hand basin inside their cells.
According to a 2019 report, convicts who behaved well were rewarded with keys to their own quarters. When it comes to making applications, placing canteen orders, and scheduling visits, each prisoner receives a Unilink laptop. They can also use it to access the Content Hub, which is a great resource for news, information, entertainment, and educational resources. Inmates who behave have access to a full-sized sports facility, a weight room, an exercise area, and outdoor fields.
The privately owned facility in Wrexham, North Wales was built in breach of United Nations minimum standards that prisoners must be held in single cells, with 60% of cells designed to hold two people. Category C prisons are sometimes called ‘training prisons.’ They are meant to offer education and training to prisoners. The vast majority of prisoners on longer sentences will spend time in Category C accommodations.
Critics including Conservative MP Philip Hollobone have criticized the “prison,” likening it more to “a youth club.”
“The public will be horrified that prisons are being turned into glorified holiday camps. No wonder it has got the reputation as Britain’s cushiest prison,” Hollobone said.
HM Prison Service announced their making of enhanced training.
“Our frontline staff are nothing short of heroes – undergoing an extremely tough and demanding job day-in day-out to get criminals back on the straight and narrow and keep our streets safe,” they said in a statement. “It is for their sake we will never tolerate those few officers who think they are above the law. That’s why our newly bolstered Counter Corruption Team is working around the clock to root out and clamp down on those who undermine our exemplary service with their dangerous behavior and ensure they face the strongest possible consequences for their crimes.”
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