Last week I attended a Court User Meeting at Isleworth CC on behalf of the association, principally to meet with someone from Wormwood Scrubs to address the crisis with legal visits.  While there I received information about the prison estate for London and on the closure of Hammersmith MC.  I will report on each subject separately.

 

As to Scrubs I now have a point of contact and have agreed to attend a meeting in the prison.  I have sent them our complaints in writing and some ideas for improvements and will report back.  This however was overshadowed by the news I was given about the prison estate, report below:

 

Report from Sarah Poynton of Scrubs, Head of Ops at reception

  • The Birmingham booking centre is now a national scheme. Sold to the cheapest supplier.  She cannot take any complaints about booking process (promises to send me a point of contact).
  • HMPS plan to reform prison estate, establishing 3 remand centres at Wandsworth, Highdown & Belmarsh for whole of London.  All other prisons, including Scrubs will no longer be remand prisons.
  • Wandsworth will have 20 new VL suites. No plans to improve VL at Scrubs therefore.
  • There is a list of prisons that might close and plans to build new ones.  Scrubs and the Pentonville on the list to close. At least one will close.
  • Not going to have lunchtime VL slots despite prior requests (by Isleworth).  Unions refuse.
  • Defence are not going to get VL access at Scrubs as things stand (but will receive reps from us – due to under use of existing facilities).

 

  • Offers a meeting with LCCSA to discuss problems and proposals.
  • Will put LCCSA in touch with Birmingham booking centre re booking problems.

 

  • HM Prison Service due to merge with National Probation Service, called the HMPPS.

 

Mark Troman

LCCSA Secretary

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