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Prison helps inmates boost their problem-solving skills with brand new ‘escape room’ – The Sun

A PRISON keen to help boost problem solving skills has created an "escape room" for lags.

Inmates at HMP Haverigg, in Cumbria, can now take part in the "trendy" activity, inspired by the TV show The Crystal Maze in which contestants solve puzzles to get out of rooms.

Lags at the 580-prisoner jail take part in the new activity in the prison gym, using their cunning to solve mental, physical, skill and mystery games.

Despite being converted from a closed category C jail into a category D jail opened recently, it is still surrounded by a four-and-half mile perimeter fence.

While some prisoners have rights to come and go as part of their rehabilitation – the site has to remain secure and critics were baffled by bosses “encouraging escapes”.

The activity rooms were revealed in a report out from inspectors from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) yesterday.

It showed inmates were also being offered a "Couch to 5k" race and weekly Parkruns, as well as weekend brunches of “yogurt, fruit and muesli".

The report said: "The gym also provided an ‘escape room’ activity, whereby prisoners can become involved in problem-solving and team-building exercises."



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Almost 1,000 prison officers go into self-isolation

Almost 1,000 prison officers go into self-isolation with cell searches and drug tests set to be scrapped to cope with absences in coronavirus crisis

  • Some 900 prison officers were off work and self-isolating on Thursday
  • Prisoners will be confined to their cells if jails in England and Wales lack staff 
  • Former chief prison inspector called for low-risk inmates to be released 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Almost 1,000 prison officers have gone into self-isolation and some security procedures may have to be halted if there are staff shortages amid the coronavirus outbreak, it is understood.

Prison cell searches and drug tests for inmates might be scrapped in a bid to cope with absences during the crisis.

Some 900 prison officers were off work and self-isolating on Thursday, the PA news agency understands.

Two inmates at HMP Kilmarnock in Scotland have tested positive for coronavirus, it was revealed on Thursday

‘Core security processes’ will ‘cease’ and prisoners will need to be confined to their cells if jails in England and Wales do not have enough staff, according to official guidance seen by BBC News.

Meals, medication, prisoner safety and family visits will be prioritised.

The number of prison officers off work rose on Friday, sources told the BBC.

The guidance is also said to advise against starting new offender behaviour programmes like those put in place for sex offenders.

The news comes after a former chief inspector of prisons called for low-risk inmates to be released from prison to avoid them becoming ‘incubators’ for coronavirus.

Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Nick Hardwick suggested prisoners with only a short amount of their sentence left to serve could be freed to help ease the pressure on the prison system.

Prisons minister Lucy Frazer said prison staff were working closely with the Department of Health and the NHS to ‘manage challenges’ 

On Wednesday, the first case of an inmate being infected with Covid-19 was confirmed at HMP Manchester.

Two inmates at HMP Kilmarnock in Scotland have also tested positive for the virus, it was revealed on Thursday.

Last week the Government said it was ‘striving tirelessly’ to ensure the safety of prisons amid the coronavirus outbreak after campaigners urged officials to reveal how they would protect inmates.

Prisons minister Lucy Frazer said prison staff were working closely with the Department of Health and the NHS to ‘manage challenges’ and urged anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 to avoid visiting a relative behind bars.

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