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Jail race war set to explode; PRISONS IN CRISIS: MURDERER SETS UP MUSLIM HATE GROUP FOR; 'PROTECTION'; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Nick Dorman and Dan Warburton

JAIL bosses fear a race war could break out behind bars after hardened killers set up protection groups against Muslim convicts.

The Sunday People can reveal that governors have been given an urgent security warning about one new network called Death Before Dishonour.

The group - calling themselves DBD for short - have formed to protect themselves against what they claim is an increasing risk from Muslim inmates.

But it raises the threat of further meltdown in our crisis-hit jails.

Members of the gangs are being recruited from special Close Supervision Centres set up to hold the most dangerous convicts - often violent lifers.

A warning to governors is said to have linked three convicted murderers to DBD.

A source said: "There have been topsecurity briefings warning of this organisation being set up and focusing on inmates in Close Supervision Units.

"So there is serious concern with so many hundreds, if not thousands, of followers of Islam in the prison system.

"At many of our prisons there is already huge tension between Muslim and non-Muslim prisoners.

"Clearly there is deep concern that this group could expand and the conflict could escalate out of all control."

Harm

Sources said this is the second known anti-Islam organisation set up in prisons.

Another is the Piranhas gang which was formed after extremist Muslim prisoners began assaulting other inmates and trying to convert them.

The Piranhas - named after the flesheating South American fish - are mainly prisoners from Liverpool and Manchester, a trial at Manchester crown court was told Gangland murderer Chris Ashton is said to have been handing out postcards carrying a piranha motif to Muslimconvert inmates at HMP Long Lartin, Worcs, urging them to fight back.

Sources said the cards had the Ezekiel 25.17 "vengeance" Bible verse recited by Samuel L. Jackson's hitman character in cult movie Pulp Fiction The verse reads: "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

"And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."

Ashton, 33, is alleged to have been moved to another prison after Muslim inmates threatened to harm him. He was handed a life sentence with a 32-year minimum term in 2006 for killing 21-year-old Leon Small.

Small's burnt body was discovered by a dog walker on the Mersey foreshore near John Lennon Airport two years earlier.

He had been stabbed with a samurai sword w and a knife before being shot after a row broke out between him and Ashton, then 21, at a house in Wavertree over a gold chain.

Last night the Ministry of Justice refused to discuss DBD or its members.

Action

A spokesman said: "Safety in prisons is fundamental to the proper functioning of our justice system.

"We do not tolerate violence or bullying in prisons and will always take action against any kind of discrimination." The Sunday People revelations come just days after it emerged mobile phones were being smuggled into prison inside chocolate bars.

A Channel 4 documentary also revealed how the so-called legal high Spice - now outlawed - was being sprayed on to children's drawings and posted to inmates who then smoke it.

Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, said: "Prisons are rundown and overcrowded, with significant issues surrounding safety. We've seen a number of homicides in prison this year, and there's certainly been an increase.

"The Prison Officers Association has also raised concerns about assaults on their own members.

"Against the background of some of the rising racial tensions in society, it's easy to see why some tensions in prison might be channelled through race lines.

"My view remains that what we really need is not more prison staff but fewer prisoners and fewer prisons. The overwhelming priority is for the Government to take a strategic view and set the path to reduce the number of people in prison over the long term."

Justice Secretary Liz Truss has admitted prisons are at breaking point and unveiled new powers.

Axed

The minister revealed plans to recruit 2,500 more wardens with PS100million funding as she said a toxic cocktail of drugs and violence is endangering guards and inmates.

But critics claim the measures were not enough to plug a shortfall in frontline officers after 6,000 members of staff were axed.

As part of the proposals, Ms Truss said she would sack governors when prisons fail.

New league tables measuring everything from violence to offenders' progress at English and maths will rank jails.

The White Paper followed shock figures last week showing assaults on prison staff soared 43 per cent last year to 5,954. Richard Burgon MP, Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary, said: "The Tories' much hyped recruitment drive is already looking in trouble.

"Over 6,000 frontline officers have been lost under the Tories, and we've seen the dangerous consequences of falling prison officer numbers recently."

nick.dorman@people.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

LEADERS: Three convicted killers linked to DBD gang

NEW POWERS: Minister Liz Truss

PIRANHA WARNING Lifer Ashton and pal dressed as a Muslim
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 13, 2016
Words:858
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