Changes at prison after deaths, department says

A closeup of a smiling male wearing a blue jumper
Craig Anderson was found unresponsive in his prison cell the morning after he was sentenced [Anderson family]

Reviews into procedures and policies at the Isle of Man Prison following the deaths of three inmates have led to a several changes at the facility, home affairs bosses have said.

It comes after an inquest jury ruled there was a "missed opportunity" in the care of Craig Anderson, who was found unresponsive in his cell on 25 November 2022 the day after he was jailed for five years.

In a statement the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) said that following the death the prison had adopted the UK's self-harm management policy, and a Manx Care long-term plan to address the issue of healthcare access at the facility had been produced.

The 28-year-old's mother, Jane Anderson, said while her son "may not have been perfect" he had been "let down by the system for a number of years".

In its verdict, the jury said putting Mr Anderson back on a risk-management file for self-harm or placing him under overnight observations "possibly could have made a difference".

'Properly supported'

During the inquest, prison deputy governor Martin Phillips said the facility's authorities had been "aware of the shortcomings" of its self-harm management policy in place at the time of Mr Anderson's death.

That had led to the implementation of the UK's system at the Jurby facility, he said.

The inquest was told Mr Anderson's death was one of three at the prison over a three-year period, after Kaan Douglas died and March 2020 and Christopher Corkill in February 2023.

The DHA said it was "committed to implementing the necessary changes to ensure that prisoners, staff and families are properly supported and feel confident in the quality of care and provision" at the prison.

The department's "thoughts are with Mr Anderson’s family, friends and all of those affected by this tragedy," it added.

The 28-year-old's mother Jane Anderson said she hoped the reviews conducted after her son's death would lead to changes to "ease the suffering of the families should a similar tragedy happen in the future".

She said: "Craig may not have been perfect but he was my son and he was let down by the system for a number of years."

He had a "heart of gold and would do anything to help anybody and he is deeply missed by all who knew him", she added.

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