Award for prison officer

LORNA MARSH The officer in charge of Norwich prison's notorious A-wing yesterday won an award for his “outstanding” work.

LORNA MARSH

The officer in charge of Norwich prison's notorious A-wing yesterday won an award for his "outstanding" work.

In the first honour of its kind for the jail, senior officer Andy Vargeson received the award for his "most outstanding contribution to decency" in managing the dilapidated wing before its closure and after it reopened to accommodate growing prisoner numbers.

It was presented to Mr Vargeson by High Sheriff of Norfolk Nigel Savory and Sheriff of Norwich John Drake in a ceremony at the Guildhall in Norwich.

James Shanley, governor of Norwich prison, said: "Prisons can be quite an austere environment. The single award went to one of the A-wing's managers who managed the area and returned with his team when it reopened. Even though it is an unattractive place what he has been doing is ensuring decency within it is still top of the agenda."

Dave Damerell, Phil Dalzell, Don Gudgeon and Billy Bester of the resettlement unit were honoured for their work in the voluntary and private sector in ensuring that offenders reintegrate into the community and secure work.

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Mr Shanley said: "They have all committed above and beyond the 39 hours for which they get paid."

Mr Drake said the idea of the awards came about after he and Mr Savory toured the jail.