Prisoners at one of the country's top security prisons are converting to Islam for protection because of a rife gang culture, an inspection report says.Quite!
Inmates at Long Lartin prison said some were "becoming Muslim" because it is a "bigger gang".
Similar concerns were raised in an inspection report in to Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire last year, in which prison officers warned extremist Muslim prisoners are ganging up on others in an attempt to radicalise them.I think they already know that, I just think that they are worried about what might happen if they were to start to tackle it, frankly…
Inspectors at Long Lartin, in Worcestershire, were told gang culture is widespread.
One inmate said: "Yes there is a gang culture here which is becoming an issue. A lot of people are becoming Muslim just because it's a bigger gang."Why shouldn’t these extremists pursue the methods in prison that have served them so well on the outside? They have already taken the measure of the ‘authorities’ and judged them incompetent to prevent this.
Another said: "There are issues with Muslim gangs wanting to overpower others."
One added: "Muslim gangs; if you have a problem with one, you have a problem with them all," while a fourth said: "People are converting to Islam for protection."
Are they wrong?
Phil Wheatley, director general of the National Offender Management Service, said: "The Governor and senior management team are committed to ensuring that all prisoners feel safe, and the strong personal officer scheme at Long Lartin continues to be developed to offer support to prisoners.Umm, the problem doesn’t seem to be lack of support for the Muslim prisoners, now does it…?
"A new programme to improve engagement, led by the Muslim Chaplain, will develop support specifically for Muslim prisoners. "