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HMP Altcourse hailed

Government inspectors report that HMP Altcourse is a "very effective local prison"
G4S, Altcourse

A G4S-run prison in Liverpool has been praised as a ‘safe prison with excellent learning and skills provision in an official report released today.

The report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons follows an unannounced inspection of HMP Altcourse  over three days during October 2012.

Inspectors reported that the prison had made good progress in implementing recommendations made in the last report in 2010 and offered a safe environment with impressive learning opportunities and strong relationships between staff and prisoners.

John McLaughlin, Director of HMP Altcourse, said:

“This report is extremely positive and shows that HMP Altcourse continues to be a safe environment, with a strong culture of respect between staff and prisoners.  It recognises the hard work of our staff and the way prisoners are encouraged to build better habits and behaviour through routine, structure and purposeful activity.

“I am particularly pleased that inspectors continue to acknowledge the high activity levels at the prison.  Our prisoners are expected to work through the day, either in the classroom, industries or in vocational training, to help them develop the right skills to help them stay away from crime after their release.  This is an important part of instilling respect towards others, their environment and ultimately, themselves. 

“While this report is encouraging, we will be looking carefully at its recommendations so that we can build on what has been achieved and ensure that we continue to play our part in returning prisoners to their communities as better citizens than when they came in.”

HMP Altcourse in Fazakerley has been managed by G4S Care & Justice Services since it opened in 1997. The Category B prison receives sentenced and remand young offender and adult male prisoners from the courts in Merseyside and Cheshire, as well as North Wales and can accommodate 1,324 prisoners.

The prison is at the forefront of the Government’s initiative to make prisons places of purposeful activity, and features prominently in G4S’ ‘Working Prisons: Working People’ campaign to attract commercial organisations to invest in prisons. One of the businesses based in the prison, Norpro, employs more than 50 prisoners in the manufacture of office furniture and has proved so successful that it has ‘on-shored’ work previously done overseas.