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Open prison wins praise.

A controversial open prison which has seen at least 10 inmates abscond since June, has been named one of the best in England and Wales.

Two paedophiles and two murderers are among those who have walked out of HMP Prescoed, near Usk.

But the jail, together with nearby Usk closed prison, is now one of six to be awarded High Performing Prison status by the Home Office.

Director general of the Prison Service Phil Wheatley commended HMP Prescoed for its outstanding work in 2005/06. Mr Wheatley said: 'They are delivering exceptional levels of care and support for some of the most difficult and vulnerable people in society.'

But the recent walk-outs have led to calls by local campaigners for what they call 'dangerous' prisoners to be placed elsewhere. Monmouth MP and AM David Davies, who is awaiting a response from Prisons Minister Gerry Sutcliffe on the issue, said: 'This award just makes you wonder what is coming next.'
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 17, 2006
Words:159
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