Yorkshire Prison Riot Continues for a Third Night

A third night of rioting in a prison complex in South Yorkshire has seen a total of 250 inmates moved to different locations today, following similar riots in a young offenders unit opposite the prison the previous two nights. The riot took place in the adult section of Moorlands prison, near Doncaster, last night where one prisoner was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

Glyn Travis, a spokesman for the Prison Officers Association (POA), said that all the prisoners in Moorland’s adult wing, up to 100 inmates, were involved in the riot. Mr Travis confirmed that no prison staff were injured, but said extensive damage was caused. “Apparently the juveniles and young offenders were locked up and the adults were allowed to come out, and when they refused to go back to their cells it all kicked off,” he said. “It’s being brought under control by prison staff at present but the situation is still very volatile, and we have no idea how long it will take to get under control. It is an extremely dangerous situation for staff and prisoners alike.”

The riot was eventually subdued when Prison Service Tornado teams heavily armored in riot gear entered the prison after four and a half hours of rioting and quickly pressed all the prisoners into a surrender within twenty five minutes of arriving on the scene.

The events over the last three days have sparked an investigation by the Prison Service, with many calling for a high level review. Its chief executive Michael Spurr stated: “We have a good record of maintaining order and security in our prisons and are therefore taking these incidents extremely seriously in order to learn lessons. We are now conducting a high-level investigation into these events. Staff have done a magnificent job over the past 72 hours. We have deployed additional staff today to Moorland to ensure stability at the prison.”

This statement is in stark contrast with the last inspection of Moorlands prison in October 2008, which found that “neither the physical environment nor staff-prisoner relationships were sufficiently good”.

Cally McWilliam

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