Monmouth MP visits Prescoed over absconders
MONMOUTH MP David Davies has visited HMP Prescoed to discuss the high level of recent escapes with governor Steve Cross.
His visit comes a week after three men absconded from the open prison near Usk, just six weeks after convicted murderer Brian Grady went on the run.
Stephen Booth, 34, Jason Morris, 38, and John Phillips, 28, who were all serving sentences for separate offences of robbery, have since been recaptured.
Grady, 26, was arrested on 4 February and has also been returned to the prison service.
Mr Davies questioned the risk assessments that allowed the prisoners to be moved to an open prison and said absconding seemed an "illogical" thing to do when they were shortly due for release. He said: "Those going into an open prison are assessed and put there prior to being released back into the community," he said.
"They generally only have a short period to serve in relatively comfortable conditions before being let out. "It is therefore very odd that some prisoners decide to escape. When they are caught they end up back in the closed prison system in worse conditions and have to wait much longer before they are set free again. It is quite an illogical thing to do, but obviously some are still tempted.
"It is vitally important that everyone is carefully assessed before being placed into the open prison at Prescoed and I have been given assurances that this is happening." He added: "I take this issue very seriously and will continue to discuss procedures used with the governor. At the same time, I do pay tribute to prison officers who have to do a very difficult job and often do not get the credit they deserve."