Hollesley governor leaves for new job

AFTER one year working behind bars at Hollesley Bay, governor Mel Jones has been promoted to manager of an immigration detention centre.Mr Jones, was appointed to Hollesley last year when it was divided into two prisons.

AFTER one year working behind bars at Hollesley Bay, governor Mel Jones has been promoted to manager of an immigration detention centre.

Mr Jones, was appointed to Hollesley last year when it was divided into two prisons.

In his new role he will become the manager of the Haslar immigration detention centre at Gosport, Hampshire.

The centre caters for 160 people and Mr Jones said there was the possibility of increasing this to 400 places.


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Mr Jones said: "It is a centre for relatively short stays and it is administrative detention rather than criminal and is not under prison rules. I still live on the Isle of Wight and I will be able to live at home and travel from home."

Mr Jones, a former deputy governor at Brixton and Parkhurst prisons during his 23 years with the Prison Service, came to Hollesley when the Warren Hill closed unit was separated from the open section and two distinct prisons were created last year.

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He was faced with setting up the open prison and coping with an increase in population linked to the national overcrowding in prisons.

Two, two-storey wings for 80 more inmates have been opened at Hollesley open prison and the maximum population is almost 330 prisoners including some on life sentences.

Mr Jones said during his short time at the prison he had been impressed by the quality of staff.

"When I came here it was to take up a changing establishment with the split of Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay. We started from scratch and put in systems and structures in place to cope with our work as a separate establishment.

"There was a danger the open prison would be in jeopardy because we did not have sufficient prisoners. But then we had units for 80 more, giving us 329 places in the open prison and we have developed the regime to be able to cope with the changes," said Mr Jones.

His successor will be Michael Wood, deputy governor at Norwich Prison.

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