news

Prison reforms at centre of Queen's speech could mean Wormwood Scrubs inmates are sent home for weekends

Britain's "biggest prison shake up since Victorian times" includes major changes for inmates at Hammersmith and Fulham's Wormwood Scrubs

New reforms outlined in the Queen's speech on Wednesday (May 18) could mean inmates at Wormwood Scrubs could be sent home on weekends.

In what has been described as the "biggest prison shake up since Victorian times", her Royal Majesty announced the change as part of the Prison and Courts Reform Bill during the State Opening of Parliament.

Plans to allow satellite tagged prisoners out over the weekend from six of the country's fullest prisons were outlined, including most serious offenders.

The move could set a precedent for other establishments, including the Hammersmith and Fulham 's Wormwood Scrubs men's prison.

In a a statement released by Mr Cameron, he said: "Because this government sees the potential in everyone, we finally undertake the long-overdue change that our prisons need.

"No longer will they be warehouses for criminals, we want them to be incubators of changed and reformed lives."

Other reforms in the Bill will mean governors will get much greater financial and legal power over areas such as budgets and opting out of national contracts

Other announcements part of the Bill include governors getting much greater financial and legal power over areas.

This could include opting out of national contracts, family visits, operational control on education and partnerships to provide prison work and rehabilitation services.

Announcing Mr Cameron's programme at the House of Lords, the Queen said: "My government will use the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people, to increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defences."

News of the reform comes a mere few days after prison staff walked out of Wormwood Scrubs and refused to work there because of serious safety fears.

On May 8, two prison officers were seriously injured whilst performing their duties and "badly assaulted".

View full mobile page