HM Prison Parc
|Location||Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan|
|Security class||Category B Adult Males/Young Offenders/Juveniles|
|Capacity||1200 (June 2009)|
HM Prison Parc is a Category B men's private prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. Parc Prison is operated by G4S, and is the only privately operated prison in Wales.
Parc was the first prison in the UK to be built under the Government's Private Finance Initiative. Previously the site of Parc Prison used to be a psychiatric hospital until it was closed down, and patients either moved to other hospitals in the area or into the community.
The new prison (which cost £82 million to develop) opened in 1997. Parc was designed to be a hi-tech prison, with computer systems, swipe cards and personalised voice identification equipment. By using computer and surveillance equipment, G4S cut down the number of staff needed in the prison and increased security, making it more difficult for prisoners to escape.
However, from its opening, Parc Prison was beset with problems. Failures in the prison security technology, anti-English racism from Welsh inmates, and a high number of suicides were all highlighted as concerns by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in a 1999 report. However, in March 2001, a new report from the Chief Inspector noted a major improvement in standards at Parc Prison.
In August 2004, the Independent Monitoring Board issued a report stating that Parc Prison had been rated as the worst-performing privately run prison in Wales and England. The report criticised the lack of separate health-care facilities for juveniles at the prison, the inadequate level of dental provision for all prisoners, and issues of staff morale.
In February 2014 a prisoner was found dead in their cell at the prison.
The prison today
Parc prison holds Remand and Sentenced Category B Adult males, juveniles and young offenders. All cells in the prison are equipped with in-cell sanitation, natural and forced ventilation, and in-cell electrics. All wings are equipped with hot water boilers, PIN telephones, pool and table tennis tables, showers, laundry facilities, and association areas.
Education at Parc Prison is provided by an in-house education department. A range of subjects are offered including English, maths, information technology, art, music, hospitality and languages, plus a range of vocational qualifications. Qualifications up to and including Open University courses are available. The prisons industries complex comprises nine workshops including carpentry, metalwork, graphic design and print, and industrial cleaning. All other workshops are dedicated to manufacturing contracts with local companies.
- "Control is 'fragile' at high-tech prison". bbc.co.uk. 14 October 1999. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- "Prison responds to critics". bbc.co.uk. 20 March 2001. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- "Private jail 'worst' says report". bbc.co.uk. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- Danny Shaw (2013-01-10). "BBC News - Seven prison closures in England announced". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-12.