Isle of Man Prison says it has carried out a complete overhaul of the way it identifies and supports inmates in crisis following a tragic death in custody.

Changes have been brought in at Jurby jail following a damning independent report into the death of Craig Anderson in his prison cell.

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman report was published after an inquest jury ruled there was a ‘missed opportunity to render care which possibly could have made a difference.’

Mr Anderson, 28. was found unresponsive on the floor of his cell at Jurby jail on November 25, 2022, the day after he was jailed for five years for a wounding offence.

When he was discovered he had been dead for some time.

The PPO report found that the prison had not made sufficient changes following the death of another prisoner in similar circumstances in March 2020.

There has been a third death in custody since that of Mr Anderson.

It concluded that the jail’s management of prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm was ‘inadequate’.

Mental health services in the prison were ‘inadequate, unsafe and not equivalent to what is available in the wider community,’ its clinical reviewer found.

The inquest jury found that he had died by suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed. But it said neglect had not been a contributing factor.

The jury heard Mr Anderson had not been placed back on prison’s self-harm risk management policy, known as a ‘folder five’, and neither put under overnight observations.

Craig’s mum Jane Duggan Anderson said in a statement following the conclusion of the inquest that she hoped changes can be made to ensure the safety of inmates.

She said: ’I would like to praise the inmates at the Jurby Facility for the kindness that was given to me after the death of Craig, their kind words were heartfelt and genuine. 

‘The condolences offered by the prison at the end of police statements, some nine months later, were neither genuine nor sincere and should have been offered from the outset. 

‘I hope that lessons can be learnt from the findings of the independent report produced by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, which included references to unsafe practices, and changes can be made to ease the suffering of the families should such a tragedy happen in the future.

‘There needs to be a clear policy regarding procedures following the death of an inmate. Craig was left on a corridor for over seven hours and this is an image I cannot forget, it was undignified and inhumane.

‘Changes need to be made to ensure all inmates are safe and cared for.

‘Lastly, I would like to say that Craig may not have been perfect but he was my son and he was let down by the system for a number of years.

‘Not only was he my son, but he was a brother, grandson and a daddy to two amazing children as well as being an amazing friend to all who knew him.

‘Craig has a heart of gold and would do anything to help anybody and he is deeply missed by all who knew him.

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs said it accepted the recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, and insisted the safety and wellbeing of those in care of the prison is paramount.

It said: ‘The department’s thoughts are with Mr Anderson’s family, friends and all of those affected by this tragedy.

‘The independent report from the PPO, and an earlier HMIP report, highlighted shortcomings in prison processes and we take these findings seriously.

‘The Isle of Man Prison and Manx Care took immediate action following the HMIP report, and has introduced further improvements following the PPO report - including a complete overhaul of the processes in place to identify, monitor and support prisoners in crisis. 

‘Notably the process for new receptions into the prison has been updated to increase safety checks and increase engagement and monitoring, the night assessments routine was updated, every cell had a fixed landline phone introduced with free unrecorded access to the Samaritans.

‘Additionally, the prison now follows the UK policy in regards to the monitoring and recording of prisoners who indicate they are having or have had suicidal thoughts.

‘A long-term action plan has also been produced by Manx Care, to address the issue of healthcare access at the Prison.

‘We are committed to implementing the necessary changes to ensure that prisoners, staff and families are properly supported and feel confident in the quality of care and provision at the Isle of Man prison.’