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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

New HMP Haverigg governor’s battleplan built on agenda for respect

HMP Haverigg could become the home of incarcerated Cumbrians – if its new governor gets his way.

Tony Corcoran has been appointed as boss of HMP Haverigg following the departure of Steve Valentine earlier this month.

The jail has a capacity of 644 – and around 20 per cent of inmates are Cumbrian.

But Mr Corcoran believes keeping more Cumbrian prisoners at the jail could help reduce re-offending.

Speaking to the Evening Mail, he outlined his vision for the future of the prison, as well as paying tribute to the work of his predecessors.

He said: “I would like to develop into more of a community prison in the sense that only about 20 per cent of our prisoners are from Cumbria.

“I would like to bring more Cumbrians in from other prisons and resettle them here.

“It must be very difficult to be locked up for a number of years – for me it is about how we make that transition from
imprisonment to the community.”

Mr Corcoran, who joined the prison service as an officer at Brixton in 1986, has previously served as governor at HMP Dorchester, HMP Dartmoor and HMP Channings Wood in Devon – a post he left this month.

Mr Corcoran said the use of release on temporary licence is something he was keen to utilise in a bid to help accelerate prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration back into society.

At present a small number of prisoners are on the ROTL scheme in HMP Haverigg, which allows them short-term discharge as they prepare for being released from the justice system.

Mr Corcoran added: “My predecessor has done a good job ensuring this is a safe prison.

“There are limitations to what I can do, we have a two-pronged attack; education and enforcement, and we do that along with the police,” said Mr Corcoran.

He also outlined his hopes to build on restorative justice programmes in place at the prison to allow inmates
to “make good” for their crimes.

He added: “Staff here have a good reputation for treating prisoners with decency and respect.

“If I bump into a prisoner when I’m walking down the street with my family I want them to treat me and my family with respect.

“The way we do that is by treating prisoners with respect.

“We do look after some of the most troubled individuals.”

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