- Whitemoor has highest proportion of Muslims in any British jail
- Cambridgeshire institution has double number recorded in 2008
- They form biggest power bloc in Category A jail, watchdogs say
- Report says religious gulf within prison has been underestimated
By Martin Beckford, Home Affairs Editor For The Mail On Sunday
Published: 23:27, 17 October 2015 |
Legal fight: Extremist Kamel Bourgass (pictured) was held in solitary confinement at Whitemoor.
Muslims dominate a high-security jail for the first time, sparking fear among other prisoners and staff, a report reveals.
Half of inmates at Whitemoor are now Muslims. It is believed to be the highest proportion in any British jail and double the number recorded less than a decade ago.
They form the biggest power bloc in the Category A prison, taking over from the previous gangs , according to watchdogs.
About half the prisoners on Whitemoor s main wings are Muslim, profoundly affecting the social nature of the jail and disrupting established hierarchies, the Independent Monitoring Board said.
Its report went on: Against this background we note that some prisoners and staff found the Muslim presence overwhelming. The social and religious fragmentation within Whitemoor potentially posed risks for discipline and hence safety.
It noted that some faith awareness training was being carried out but the religious gulf within the jail had been underestimated.
The report revealed half of the 447 inmates of the remote Cambridgeshire jail were Muslim in May this year up from 40 per cent a year earlier and 28 per cent in 2008.
Nationally the figure is 15 per cent.
Among Whitemoor prisoners in their 20s and 30s, 56 per cent now follow Islam.
Some prisoners claimed the jail was a recruiting ground for extremism as young inmates were in awe of convicted terrorists held there.
The social and religious fragmentation within Whitemoor potentially posed risks for discipline and hence safety
Independent Monitoring Board report
Earlier this year extremist Kamel Bourgass, serving life for murdering a policeman as he went on the run from a ricin factory, won a Supreme Court case after claiming he had been held in solitary confinement for too long at Whitemoor.
He was segregated at the jail, and eventually moved out of it, because he was feared to be involved in an escalation in violence at the prison .
However, experts say the radicalisation of criminals is less of a problem at Whitemoor than the recruitment of new members to gangs, who make money by selling dangerous legal high drugs that the authorities cannot test for.
Mark Icke, vice-president of the Prison Governors Association, said: We have a prison population which is bigger, serving longer sentences, more prone to violence, and increasingly driven by gang affiliations.
Use of legal highs, which we cannot yet test for, has destabilised the system further.
STATION: Rutland Barracks
DATE/TIME: 08/06/2015 at 1826 hours
LOCATION: Rutland Town
VIOLATION: Retail Theft
ACCUSED: Faith M.
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Rutland City, VT
On August 6th, 2015, at approximately 1807 hours, Vermont State Police was notified that an individual had been caught shoplifting at the Hannaford’s store in Rutland Town.
Upon arrival a member of the Vermont State Police spoke with a store employee who had watched the female in question conceal multiple items from the store in her purse while shopping.
While paying for other groceries, the female made no attempt to pay for the products that had been placed in the purse, and she was apprehended as she exited the store.
Troopers identified the female as Faith Shorey, of Rutland City, Vermont. Shorey was cited for retail theft at this time.
COURT ACTION: Yes
COURT DATE: 9/14/2015
COURT: Rutland Superior Court Criminal Division
LODGED LOCATION: No
MUG SHOT: No
Tpr. Jesse Dambrackas
Vermont State Police
124 State Place
Rutland, VT 05701
Vermont Department of Public Safety | Vermont State Police
Press Releases: http://vsp.vermont.gov/press_releases1
Submit an Anonymous Tip: http://www.vtips.info2
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