“More and more evidence is coming to light that what happened in Oakwood Prison in early January was a full-scale riot. The Government has tried to downplay the incident, but only to spare the embarrassment of Chris Grayling who said Oakwood was his favourite prison.
“But the public have a right to know what went on that night. Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was spent on building a state of the art prison, and is paid to G4S to punish and reform prisoners. If the prison is violent, understaffed and failing in its primary duties then we have a right to know, and demand improvements. And Labour is clear that unless G4S buck up their ideas over the next six months, we’d strip them of responsibility for running the prison.
“Ministers are making it hard to find out how well Oakwood is performing. I have asked a number of important parliamentary questions on the performance of Oakwood Prison but getting answers out of the Ministry of Justice is harder than getting blood out of a stone. The public will not unreasonably think they’ve something to hide.”
- Written Parliamentary Questions by Sadiq Khan MP on the performance of Oakwood Prison have gone unanswered, and further questions have been tabled to chase them up http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140120/text/140120w0001.htm#14012034001948
- The Tory-led Government awarded G4S the contract to run HMP Oakwood in March 2011 http://www.g4s.com/en/Media%20Centre/News/2011/03/31/HMP%20Birmingham%20and%20Featherstone%202/
- On 5 February 2013 in the House of Commons, Chris Grayling said “we have a very good model for prison development in Oakwood, which opened recently in the west midlands. That site has multiple blocks and first-class training facilities. To my mind, it is an excellent model for the future of the Prison Service” http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130205/debtext/130205-0001.htm#13020551001156
- On 8 October 2013, the Chief Inspector of Prisons produced a damning report on HMP Oakwood. It said “this is unquestionably a concerning report” and “against all four of our healthy prison tests, safety, respect, activity and resettlement, the outcomes we observed were either insufficient or poor”http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmipris/prison-and-yoi-inspections/oakwood/oakwood-2013.pdfhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24443586
- On 10 October 2013, the Prisons Ombudsman highlighted “serious failings” over the death of an inmate http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-24459678