ONE of Britain’s favourite holiday hotspots is set to hold ONLY sex offenders in its jails
Two prisons on the Isle of Wight — Albany (pictured below) and Parkhurst (pictured above) — house mostly rapists and paedophiles. And any cons who are locked up for non-sex crimes are now being switched to sites on the mainland.
The island’s third jail, Camp Hill, is to close in April as part of a Government cost-cutting drive — meaning the Isle of Wight’s prison population of approximately 1,100 prisoners will be solely made up of perverts.
One dismayed resident said: “They are turning us into Paedo Island. This is going to have such a damaging effect on the island.
“What families will want to come here on holiday when there could be sex offenders on early release schemes sitting next to their kids on the beach?”
Camp Hill is one of seven prisons to close and another two will be partially shut in Ministry of Justice plans announced last week which aim to save £63 million in annual running costs.
Parkhurst prison is one of the three prisons that make up HMP Isle of Wight, the other two being Camp Hill, (pic below) and Albany. Parkhurst and Albany were once amongst the few top-security prisons (called “Dispersals” because they dispersed the more troublesome prisoners rather than concentrated them all in one place) in the United Kingdom, but were downgraded in the 1990s.
Camp Hill is located adjacent and to the west of Albany and Parkhurst, on the very edge of Parkhurst Forest. Originally on the site of an army camp (both Albany and Parkhurst were barracks) with a small estate of tree-lined roads with well-proportioned officer’s quarters (with varying grandeur according to rank but now privately owned) to the South and East, having been converted to a borstal and later a category C prison.
One of the most notorious paedophiles being held on the island is Roger Gleaves (pic above) , who called himself the “Bishop of Medway”. He is being held in Albany jail after being sentenced to life for raping two 14-year-old boys in 1998. Gleaves, from Tottenham, North London, has been in and out of prison for a series of child sex crimes he committed over a 40-year period (for full profile on Gleaves click his name
One of the UK’s worst paedophiles was also housed on the Isle of Wight. William Goad, (pic above) a multi millionaire from Plymouth was thought to have abused up to 3,500 boys. After serving 6 years, Goad died of natural causes in HMP Albany
HM Prison Parkhurst
The downgrading of Parkhurst was preceded by a major escape: three prisoners (two murderers and a blackmailer) made their way out of the prison on 3 January 1995 to enjoy four days of freedom before being recaptured. One of them, Keith Rose, is an amateur pilot. During those four days, they were living rough in a shed in a garden in Ryde, having failed to steal a plane from the local air club
The accommodation at Parkhurst consists mainly of single cells with an operational capacity of 497. The prison takes criminals serving over four years (including vulnerable prisoners), prisoners at stage 1 or 2 of a life sentence and Isle of Wight remands.
The regime at the prison includes a gymnasium of nationally recognised quality and a range of training including education up to and including Open University level. There are nine workshops dealing with upholstery, arts & crafts, laundry, wheelchair repairs, breakfast packing, Aramark, BICS Cleaning and gardens. The prison also runs ETS, CALM and CSCP offending behaviour programmes
Parkhurst enjoyed notoriety as one of the toughest jails in the British Isles. Many notable criminals, including the Richardson brothers, the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Kenny Carter, Moors Murderer Ian Brady, Terrance John Clark (Mr Asia Drug Syndicate), and the Kray twins, were incarcerated there.
Parkhurst Prison was first built as a military hospital in 1805 and was later transformed to a prison for boys awaiting deportation, mainly to Australia, as part of the Parkhurst Act of 1835. As such, it was the first land-based government prison specifically for young people in England and Wales. By 1847, a new wing (C Wing) had been built by the prisoners, digging the clay and baking the bricks themselves (this wing is still in operation today).
Almost from its beginnings as a prison for young offenders, Parkhurst was subject to fierce criticism by the public, politicians and in the press for its harsh regime (including the use leg irons initially). It became a particular focus of critique for reformers campaigning against the use of imprisonment for children, most notably Mary Carpenter.
From 1863 to 1869, Parkhurst served as a female prison; however, after this date, it was converted to a male prison and has served as such ever since. In 1968 it became one of the first dispersal prisons. The prison remained as high security until the mid 1990s when it was downgraded to Category B
HM Prison Albany
Albany was designed and built as a Category C Training Prison in the early 1960s occupying the site of a former military barracks. Soon after opening in 1967, a decision was taken to upgrade Albany to a Category B prison and, in 1970, Albany became part of the dispersal system. It suffered major disturbances in 1983, which closed most of the Prison for over a year.
In 1992, Albany was redesignated as a Category B Closed Training Prison. In January 1998 Albany changed from being half Vulnerable Prisoner Unit and half Normal Location, and is now exclusively used to house sex offenders and vulnerable prisoners. Albany also operates as an Assessment Centre for the core Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
In August 2001 spikes (designed to stop birds perching) had to be removed from the exterior of Albany Prison after it was discovered that some of the spikes were coming loose. Prison Officers feared that inmates could use the spikes as a weapon against them.
In May 2006 up to 60 prisoners at Albany Prison issued writs demanding compensation from the Home Office. The inmates demanded compensation because they were prevented from using the lavatory when security checks were being carried out.
In March 2006 the kitchen providing meals to inmates at Albany prison was awarded a five-star rating for kitchen hygiene by the environmental health department of the Isle of Wight Council. The inspection of kitchens at 1,900 premises on the Isle of Wight, including schools, church halls, cafes and restaurants found Albany to have a top rating in standards of food preparation, ahead of establishments such as the Royal Yacht Squadron club.
In May 2010 a man dressed as Snoopy and an accomplice attempted to enter the Albany site, trying to free a prisoner. The pistol the costumed man carried was a water gun. The person the men were trying to free was located in the Camp Hill unit
Albany holds Category B/C sex offenders and vulnerable prisoners. Accommodation at Albany Prison comprises five wings (A to E wings), as well as a separate induction unit and segregation unit. All wings are identical and hold prisoners in single cells with in-cell but no toilet or sink. On each landing there are communal recesses housing toilets and wash basins. There are also payphones on each wing, and one TV room within each wing. There are also two Category C units consisting of single cells with en-suite facilities and communal activity areas inside and outside.
The Isle of Wight College provides education at Albany Prison. A range of courses are available including Basic and Key Skills, Art and Craft, Information Technology, Food Hygiene, Business Studies, as well Open University Courses. There are also vocational training programmes in: Bricklaying, Painting and Decorating, Horticulture, Industrial Cleaning, Woodwork and Tailoring. The prisons gym department also provides physical education courses as well as recreational gym. Additional sports facilities include a sportsfield, running track, 3 badminton courts and a weights area.
HMP Isle of Wight – Camp Hill Barracks is a Category C men’s prison, located on the outskirts of Newport, Isle of Wight. The prison lies adjacent to Albany and Parkhurst. These have now joined together to form HMP Isle of Wight, and the combined prison is operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service. In January 2013 the Government announced the Camp Hill element of HMP Isle of Wight would close as part of a wider reorganisation of prison places
Camp Hill was built in 1912 using prisoner labour from Parkhurst Prison. Camp Hill was formally opened by Winston Churchill.
In a report in April 2007, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons criticised Camp Hill for its lack of a coherent and positive direction, and its failure to improve. Concerns were also raised at the amount of inmates not in vocational work at the prison. Camp Hill courted controversy again weeks later, when it emerged an arsonist had been mistakenly released 29 months too early from the prison.
In January 2008 a convicted drug dealer refused to leave his cell in Camp Hill for a court appearance. Citing the 1998 Human Rights Act, the prisoner claimed his human rights would be breached if he was forced to leave, due to fears he would lose his cell to another inmate amid an overcrowding crisis at Camp Hill
Accommodation at Camp Hall comprises cells with one or two prisoner capacity. All MTU cells are single capacity. The regime at the prison includes provision of an Induction Programme, Education, Offending Behaviour Programmes, CIT/VTC training places, and Workshops (which include Engineering and Textiles). Camp Hill also runs an Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme, and an Anti-Bullying Strategy is in place. No date has been announced for its final closure.