A YEAR after Camp Hill was said to be 'awash with drugs’, their use at HMP Isle of Wight remains a problem, according to a report out today (Tuesday).
The report follows an inspection of the prison made up of Camp Hill, Parkhurst and Albany — carried out earlier this year.
Inspectors found relatively high levels of illicit drugs remained available at Camp Hill, while the bullying of prisoners for prescribed medication was a problem across all three sites.
They found HMP Isle of Wight was generally a respectful institution and mental health services and provision for older and disabled prisoners were good.
But there were concerns about the victimisation of sex offenders by other prisoners, the high use of segregation and inadequate arrangements for prisoners on their release.
In the six months prior to the inspection, 101 alleged bullying incidents were recorded at Parkhurst, 132 at Albany and 199 at Camp Hill.
Around half of prisoners at Parkhurst and Albany, and more than a third of those at Camp Hill, told inspectors they had felt unsafe.
Black and minority ethnic prisoners were particularly negative about their treatment.
Albany was the safest site inspected, although inspectors said the automated 'night sanitation' toilets were unacceptable and recommended all prisoners should have 24 hour access to toilet facilities.
At Camp Hill, nearly 80 prisoners were recorded as unemployed — deemed by inspectors to be unacceptable in a training prison.
HM chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said: "Our overall findings at HMP Isle of Wight are mixed. Our healthy prison tests show continued and significant variation between the sites: there is some improvement at Albany, some deterioration at Parkhurst and little change at Camp Hill.
"As we indicated last time, these variations are the best evidence of the challenge in making these disparate establishments a coherent whole.
"We were shown specific and particular plans to advance the project, but we are aware of scepticism among both staff and prisoners about the future."
Chief executive of the National Offender Management Service Michael Spurr said: "I am pleased the chief inspector has recognised progress is being made at HMP Isle of Wight.
"The creation of a single prison has already delivered significant savings for the taxpayer, and the governor and his team are developing effective regimes to meet prisoner needs across all three sites.
"We are committed to managing prisoners safely, and the governor and his staff will continue to work with the available resources to build on the integration process already underway and address concerns raised in the report."