Wales’ largest and latest jail had a rise in violence final yr – regardless of falls in incident charges throughout different jails throughout the nation.
Prisoner assaults at Wrexham’s HMP Berwyn jumped 143% to 561, in line with a Cardiff College researcher.
Assaults on jail workers have been additionally up 1 / 4 to 257 – greater than all different Welsh prisons mixed.
The Ministry of Justice mentioned jail violence throughout the UK as a complete was falling.
Report writer Dr Robert Jones mentioned it raised “additional considerations over the efficiency of Wales’ latest jail”.
The £250m jail opened in February 2017 with the capability to accommodate 2,100 inmates.
By the top of 2019, it held 1,774 Class C prisoners – deemed the lowest-risk offenders in a closed jail.
Evaluation of freedom of data requests, Ministry of Justice figures and Parliamentary questions revealed about 70% of the inmates got here from outdoors of Wales.
The research discovered the huge bounce in assaults by prisoners on different prisoners got here because the jail’s inhabitants rose by 18% over the yr.
Not solely does the jail have the best enhance in assaults, it additionally has the best price in Welsh establishments.
There have been 39 incidents per 100 inmates at Berwyn in 2019, adopted by 35 per 100 at Parc Jail in Bridgend, 25 in Cardiff and 20 in Swansea.
HMP Prescoed – an open jail – and Usk in Monmouthshire recorded simply three incidents per 100 inmates.
The report additionally discovered HMP Berwyn had the best variety of hostage conditions within the yr, with 11 out of 14 incidents throughout Wales happening there.
The jail topped the desk for seized weapons – accounting for just below half of the 572 weapons present in all Welsh prisons.
“On common, there have been 5 weapon discoveries every week at HMP Berwyn final yr,” mentioned Dr Jones.
The variety of weapons discovered in any respect Welsh prisons has been on the rise over the previous three years – up a 3rd within the yr ending March 2020.
Regardless of the rise, the report famous the official jail inspections “made no point out of the size of the issue within the Welsh jail property”.
Dr Jones’s report additionally highlighted a worrying enhance within the variety of self-harm circumstances amongst prisoners in Wrexham.
Throughout Wales the development for self-harm has been down – 2% over 2019 – with one notable exception.
Incidents of self-harm in Wrexham jumped from 551 to 1,015 within the area of a yr – an 84% enhance.
“At a time when the variety of self-harm incidents, prisoner-on prisoner assaults and assaults on workers have fallen throughout the Welsh jail property, HMP Berwyn has bucked the development with an increase in every space,” added Dr Jones.
Andrew Neilson from the marketing campaign group The Howard League for Penal Reform mentioned: “Berwyn is a really troubled jail.
“That is clearly a jail that’s underneath a number of stress and pressure, and that’s exhibiting within the violence figures and people self-harm figures.
“All of this exhibits that constructing these very massive prisons is a mistake.”
The Ministry of Justice mentioned assaults in prisons had fallen by 8% in all UK jails for the yr ending in March 2020.
An official added: “Powerful new safety measures are making it tougher than ever to carry medication into jails and this is without doubt one of the causes assaults have fallen 8% previously yr.”