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28 November 2012 | PR 12/212

Glen Parva’s policy of mixing Leicester and Nottingham offenders leads to increase in violence

Prisoner

A Loughborough University academic is part of a research team who have criticised Glen Parva Young Offender Institute’s policy of taking criminals from both Leicester and Nottingham.

Professor Maximilian Hall collaborated with three colleagues from other universities on a study which says that this policy has led to an increase in violence and gang warfare.

The report says one way to ‘decrease the incidence of inter-gang violence is to ensure young offenders are sent to institutions near their home city.’

But the four academics found that ‘during our period of analysis gangs from rival close cities, Leicester and Nottingham, were both sent to Glen Parva, a recipe for trouble!’

Professor Hall, Professor of Banking and Financial Regulation in the School of Business and Economics, said: “The problem with Glen Parva is the inmate mix. If you throw together criminals from different parts of the locality you enhance gang warfare. That’s what we suggest is what has happened.

“The justification for it was that you made them less unruly the nearer they are to home. You can understand why they don’t want to move them too far away from their locality, because you can get visits from friends and family.

“But throwing together offenders from Nottingham and Leicester, football hooligans if you like, is probably not a wise decision.”

The findings have appeared in a study called, ‘The economic efficiency of rehabilitative management in young offender institutions in England and Wales’, which has been published in the journal, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences.

The study was led by Dr Richard Simper, a former colleague of Professor Hall, who is now at Nottingham University.

Dr Simper, an adviser to the Home Office and a consultant to a number of police forces, says his team agreed with the findings of the The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), which studied Glen Parva between December 2008 and November 2009 and said that the level of violence was too high.

He said: “During our sample period there were major problems at Glen Parva, which were widely written about in the press, based on an Inspection Report. 

“Our results agree with the Inspection Report’s main findings that over-crowding was an issue and that inmate assaults were too high, due to mixing young offenders from different areas, mainly Leicester versus Nottingham.

“The results we present are all relative. Glen Parva is poorly performing relative to its closest comparative YOI based on prisoner numbers.”

The report also dismissed plans proposed in 2008/09 to increase the size of Glen Parva, the fourth largest YOI in England and Wales, from 800 inmates to 1160.

It found that the ‘smallest YOIs were the most efficient in the management of rehabilitation of young offenders’.

Dr Simper says the creation of ‘Titan prisons’ which could hold 2,500 inmates, was unlikely to deliver the cost savings envisaged.

Successive governments had considered this policy but Dr Simper said: “We find that there are no advantages to building Titan prisons, so this calls into question the necessity to spend resources on these types of YOIs.

“Indeed, many studies have shown that smaller - especially for YOIs - prisons can offer better chances of reducing re-offending when the prisoners finish their sentence. 

“In terms of the YOIs that Glen Parva should be following in all aspects of prison rehabilitation, the results suggest that its reference YOI is Deerbolt in the North East of England.”

Dr Simper said it may even be time to build a new YOI in the East Midlands.

He said: "If you look at the map of prisons, there are no other local YOIs for males in the East Midlands.

“I believe, given the size issue for Glen Parva, it could be an ideal time to build a new YOI in the East Midlands to reduce the assaults due to Leicester versus Nottingham males in-fighting.”

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Chris Goddard
Public Relations Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: C.J.Goddard@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 12 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday November 28, 2012 12:03