Today Luke urged the Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, to tackle the dilapidated facilities and crisis of understaffing at Dartmoor prison with proper investment.
Last December, the independent prison watchdog warned that the quality of provision in the facility has been “compromised by a lack of investment,” placing an unnecessary burden on staff and undermining their ability to deal with problems such as phone smuggling.
The watchdog also revealed that some prisoners have been kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day, raising serious concerns over their mental and physical health.
Speaking in Parliament, Luke asked the Minister to set out what plans he has to invest in the prison. In December last year, the government u-turned on its previous plan to close the prison by 2023, and Luke pointed out that the government now needs to outline a proper investment strategy for the facility.
“Now that the Secretary of State has dropped his plans to close Dartmoor prison, he needs to invest properly in it. At present, the dilapidated facilities are compromising the safety, security and health of both prisoners and prison staff.”
In his response, the Minister said he would write to Luke to discuss the issues facing Dartmoor prison.