Prison's missing inmates top 130

MORE than 130 prisoners have absconded from Hollesley Bay in the past five years - and more than a dozen have never been recaptured, it was revealed today.

MORE than 130 prisoners have absconded from Hollesley Bay in the past five years - and more than a dozen have never been recaptured, it was revealed today.

The figures were released by government ministers after being questioned in Parliament by Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, who is concerned at the number of walk-outs at the low-security prison.

Mr Gummer has also been questioning the government's policy over which convicts are sent to open prisons and has said some serving time for serious offences should not be sent to the Suffolk jail.

Last week Gary James, 32, who was serving six years for burglary, was the latest to go missing from the prison.

The figures for absconds were released by justice minister Maria Eagle in response to a series of questions from Mr Gummer.

She said there had been 130 prisoners who have gone on the run from Hollesley since 2002.

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Of these, at least 16 are still at large - including four who have now been free for four years and five who have enjoyed three years of freedom.

Those who have absconded were in prison for a variety of offences.

Some 14 of them were serving time for violence-related crime - mostly assault, but also manslaughter, threatening behaviour and threats to kill - plus 28 for burglary, 19 for drugs offences, and 24 for robbery.

The Home Office says open prisons are “the most effective means” of ensuring prisoners are tested in the community before they are released and all those located in open conditions had been categorised as being of “low risk” to the public.

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