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Doubts over effectiveness of post-prison services in Wales

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CONCERNS have been expressed at the Labour Government’s services for released female prisoners as startling statistics have come to light.

The Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee recently visited HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire where 148 of the 340 prisoners are from Wales.

On the visit, MSs were told that when released from the prison, nine out of ten Welsh inmates go on to reoffend, compared to one-in-ten of those from England.

This has cast doubt on the effectiveness and quality of services for ex-prisoners when they return to Wales, with consequences for their reintegration into society, the cost to the jails, and confidence in those services.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Equalities Minister Altaf Hussain MS – a committee member who visited the prison – said: “The gulf between English and Welsh female prisoners from Eastwood Park reoffending is startling and makes you wonder if Wales is anywhere near up to scratch in delivering effective services.

“Whilst this is just the experience from one prison, it is significant because it will house a substantial number of Welsh female prisoners, each one of which that returns to Wales needs to be helped by the Labour Government to reintegrate into society.

“This is not just about those individuals who need a new start with help in housing and employment – it is also about spending taxpayer money effectively, which seems to happening in England but not Wales.

“I will be asking Labour ministers to report back on these findings to explain why it is the case and what can be done to turn the tide, so that offenders have confidence in their chances of reintegration and taxpayers know their money is being well spent in delivering that.”

While prisons themselves are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, services in Wales that serve ex-offenders are run by the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay and local authorities.

Such services would include those relating to housing and homelessness, addiction recovery, employment schemes, and health (both physical and mental).

HMP Eastwood Park prisoners have the opportunity to leave the prison for short periods of time (known as release on temporary licence), and can be used to gain work experience in the local community, maintain family ties, and prepare for release.

There are no women’s prisons in Wales, which is why there is a high number of Welsh prisoners at HMP Eastwood Park.

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Milford Haven father of two sadly dies following medical emergency in Mount Estate

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A MAN was found unresponsive, and sadly later passed away in The Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Wednesday evening (Dec 9).

Police vehicles and an ambulance responded to a call coming from Chestnut Way just before midnight, but despite the excellent efforts of the paramedics attending, the man could not be revived.

The man who passed away has been named locally as Paddy McManamon, age 30, a well known local and a father of two young children.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald by way of an official statement: “At 11.45pm on Wednesday, 7 December, police were called to Chestnut Way, Mount state, Milford Haven, after a male was found unresponsive.

“The male sadly passed away.

“His death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Paddy McManamon’s cousin, Tara-Jade Riley paid tribute on social media saying: “We had some awful news our lovely cousin has passed away.

“You were such an amazing person but now you have gained your wings.

“So go and have a Guinness up there with our Nans and give them both a big hug from us all.

“Such a young man will be sadly missed by all of us – until we meet again, God bless you.”

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Christmas Gift Subscription wins £10,000!

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Carol Ormond with daughter Collette, granddaughter Ellie and great granddaughter Polly

THE PEMBROKESHIRE LOTTERY has awarded one lucky player a massive £10,000 in their Christmas Superdraw. 

The Superdraw was held on Wednesday, December 7 and the winner was Mrs Carol Ormond from Pembroke with lottery number 48095.

After Carol’s name was announced on 102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire, the team at the Pembrokeshire Lottery made contact with her and presented the winning cheque later that day. The win was made extra special as Mrs Ormond’s lottery membership was a Gift Subscription from her daughter last Christmas. Accompanying her were daughter Collette, granddaughter Ellie and great granddaughter Polly.

The normal weekly £2,000 draws now continue until the next monthly Superdraw for £4,000 on January 4. However, as the Lottery celebrates it’s 30 th Anniversary next year, there will be higher prize amounts than usual as the 3 x £8,000 draws in March, June and September will all be increased to £10,000!

Pembrokeshire Lottery Gift Subscriptions make ideal gifts for anyone and can be purchased for either 6 months or a full year. To order yours or to join up to play yourself, ring the Pembrokeshire Lottery on 01646 690800.

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Four rescued following early morning mayday call

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FOUR fishermen have been rescued in the early hours of this morning (December 7) after their vessel is said to have hit rocks near Skomer Island.

The Coastguard received a mayday call from the stricken vessel just before midnight, with lifeboat crews from Angle and St Davids sent to assist.

The crew abandoned the vessel and were located in a life raft nearby and were taken onboard the Angle lifeboat.

Milford Haven Coastguard have confirmed that no injuries have been reported and the crew were safely brought ashore at Milford Haven.

Arrangements are being made to recover the fishing vessel and to assess whether there is any pollution.

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