Doncaster Prison has been given the worst possible rating in a new report – with standards deemed to be of ‘serious concern’.
HMP Doncaster was one of only six jails out of 121 across the country to be given the alarming judgement in an annual report by the Ministry of Justice.
The rating comes after the prison, run by private operator Serco, was branded ‘inadequate’ by prison chiefs.
An official report after an inspection in October said levels of violence were higher than at other jails.
It also stated that 11 inmates had died in the 18 months leading up to the inspection, including three who had taken their own lives.
Hostage incidents had taken place, drugs were widely available and clean bedding for inmates to sleep on was scarce .
Julia Rogers, Serco’s managing director for justice, said: “At HMP Doncaster, with considerable help from our customer, we have been working hard over the past year to improve the prison.
“I am pleased to say that since March the measures we have taken are having a real effect.
“As a result safety is improving and violence is gradually reducing.”
Ms Rogers added: “The measures we have taken include the appointment of a new director and management team; achieving and maintaining full staffing levels over the last six months and providing improved training and support for our officers.
“These have all contributed to reducing the levels of violence.
“We have also introduced a new ‘social responsibility unit’ in June, to work with all offenders who display acts of violence and aggression towards other prisoners and staff.”
The other prisons also awarded the lowest possible rating were: Bristol, Hewell in Worcestershire, Isis in London, Liverpool and Wormwood Scrubs.