New governor appointed at Norwich Prison

PUBLISHED: 17:54 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:01 08 February 2017

Norwich Prison. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich Prison. Photo: Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Norwich Prison has a new governor it has emerged.

Bev Bevan, formerly governor at HMP Warren Hill in Suffolk, took over the helm of HMP Norwich last month.

Ms Bevan replaces Will Styles, who had been in charge of the Knox Road jail since 2011 after leaving his role as governor at the Wetherby male juvenile centre in west Yorkshire.

It is understood that Mr Styles’ leadership is to be praised in a HM Inspectorate of Prisons report which is to be published tomorrow (Thursday, February 9).

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) would not discuss the previous governor or where he has moved to and would only confirm that Ms Bevan had taken over as the new governor at Norwich Prison in January.

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green has recently met with the prison’s new governor and said he had been “impressed”.

He said: “I was impressed. She’s got a commitment to rehabilitation.”

Mr Green has been at the prison to discuss a ground-breaking new scheme to help rehabilitate inmates.

Two rescue dogs have been brought into Norwich Prison once a week with a trainer who has given a small group of offenders new skills in dog handling and training as part of a pilot project.

The scheme, which was unleashed by Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, who funded the first three months of the project, has proved so successful that it is to be extended for a further three months,

Mr Green, himself a dog lover, had spoken with the prison after taking office last year about whether dogs, which have been used in places like hospices to help those in need, could be used to help rehabilitate offenders by giving them something positive to focus on.

Opened in 1982 to house Category C young offenders in closed conditions, Warren Hill was one of several jails chosen by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for a ‘reroll’ as part of plans to save the taxpayer more than £500m.

But a planned cost-cutting merger between Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill prisons was scrapped last year in a U-turn by the Prison Service.

Officials were left red-faced after they discovered on closer inspection that any savings that would be made would not be as significant as first thought.

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