WHITEMOOR PRISON: Senior Governor receives OBE in Queen's New Year's Honours List

By ADAM LAZZARI THE senior governor at March s Whitemoor Prison Stephen Rodford is to receive an OBE in the Queen s New Year s Honours List, for services to the Ministry of Justice. The news will shock many people with the prison receiving a great deal o

By ADAM LAZZARI

THE senior governor at March's Whitemoor Prison Stephen Rodford is to receive an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List, for services to the Ministry of Justice.

The news will shock many people with the prison receiving a great deal of negative press this year, much of it hitting national headlines.

In November it was reported that the Prison Officers Association claimed Whitemoor staff passed a vote of no confidence over Mr Rodford.


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Mr Rodford said at the time that only 23 per cent of prison officers were involved in the vote.

The vote came six months after an internal review by Prison Service investigators raised concerns about Whitemoor. It expressed serious concerns about problems with the high number of Muslim inmates of the prison.

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It stated that staff were struggling to manage gangs and terrorist prisoners at the jail.

The report said there was an "ongoing theme of fear and instability" around the prison and many staff believed a "serious incident" was imminent.

Last month takeaway meals were banned for inmates of the prison after a Government investigation into a £3,500 bill for it.

It was revealed that Muslim prisoners were being treated to takeaway curries.

The inmates were said to have the food to mark the end of Ramadan - the month of fasting.

Conservative MPs criticised this as a waste of tax payers' money and claimed that prison staff were "running errands" for inmates.

In the same month, Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw ordered the cancellation of comedy classes for prisoners

It emerged that convicted Al-Qaeda terrorist Zia Ul Haq, who had planned a bomb attack in London, had signed up for the eight-day course with 17 other inmates.

The course was intended to boost team work and communication skills but Mr Straw labelled it completely inappropriate.

The national press has also reported recently that 20 of the jail's prisoners were paid £20 each to share cell blocks with sex offenders.

Mr Rodford was unavailable for comment when the Cambs Times contacted Whitemoor Prison this week.

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