Daniel Khalife’s escape aided by a “mess” in the system

Daniel Khalife’s escape is thought to have been facilitated by a “mess” in the system, according to a former director general of the Prison Service.

On Wednesday, the terror suspect vanished from HMP Wandsworth, sparking an ongoing manhunt.

On Saturday, Phil Wheatley talked about the “chaos” in the system; at the same time, Conservative former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland referred to the Prison Service as “forgotten” and raised similar issues.

In the wake of Khalife’s escape, they join others in questioning the system.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor has stated that Wandsworth would be closed “in an ideal world,” but that there are “only just enough prisons” to house the population of convicts.

The terrorist suspect’s breakout, according to Mr. Wheatley, has revealed that the jail system is “currently in a state of some degree of chaos.”

When you are basically stumbling along day by day with too many prisoners and not enough personnel, it is really difficult to make anything operate smoothly, he said.

In the long run, I would be shocked if that wasn’t one of the causes of things going wrong.

Longer penalties have caused the system to nearly reach its capacity, flooding into police cells.

“The Government has been very interested in longer prison terms for criminals, but they haven’t provided the places with enough staff to supervise them, nor have they managed to maintain existing prisons.”

The existing housing had to be taken out of use because it couldn’t be maintained, so they used what money they had to attempt to create new ones.

As a result, everything is a bit of a mess and doesn’t appear to be the result of a well-planned, carefully considered policy that has been resourced.

Sir Robert argued that in order to close outdated facilities like HMP Wandsworth, there needs to be an increase in jail capacity established.

“It’s important to emphasise that an escape like this is a pretty exceptional event, it makes me think of escapes like Ronnie Biggs and George Blake from long ago,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The Prison Service is unquestionably a neglected service in our nation, nevertheless.

People either don’t want to talk about it or don’t know enough about the service.

“We operate the jail system at a very high rate, about 98% capacity, and I don’t think that’s a desirable situation.

To allow for flexibility, we require greater capacity.

To “close the kind of prisons like Wandsworth and other London prisons that are well past their sell-by date,” he claimed, replacement facilities are not being built quickly enough.

A comment from the Ministry of Justice has been requested.

Before Khalife fled, Wandsworth Prison had received a “serious concern” rating for its operations, and watchdogs had previously issued a number of warnings about the facility.

Of the 119 jails in England and Wales, only nine (including the 1851-opened category B reception and resettlement men’s prison) have lately had their performance questioned.

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