Prisoners are complaining that their pet budgies are dying from heatsroke
Inmates at HMP Grendon in Bucks, home to 235 category B prisoners – many serving life sentences, which means they are allowed caged birds in their cells – say their pets are dropping dead from the constant heat.
Inmates have said that their budgies are falling off their perches because of a "defunct heating system", which is in desperate need of being fixed.
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Budgies are prone to suffering from heatstroke, with pet experts saying that it was a "real danger" to pet birds if they get "too much supplemental heat".
Lags at HMP Grendon have complained to bosses about the 'searing heat' in some of the wings – as well as the dodgy plumbing, which leads to some cells being flooded.
Writing in this month's edition of lags' mag Inside Time – which is out today – one inmate said the problems had been going on for "months".
Sex offender Jamie Disley, who was jailed for seven years in December 2013, said that the problems at the jail were mounting up – leaving inmates fuming, especially at the death of their pets.
These problems were reported immediately to Carillion but are left un-repaired for months
Sex offender Jamie Disley
The 26-year-old wrote: "There is a defunct heating system on the 6 wings, so hot that people's budgies are dropping dead from it."
It is believed that a string of prisoners have complained about various problems at the prison, including dodgy plumbing and heating – with around 240 complaints made by lags at the jail in a recent six-month period.
Disley also said another problem was the 'Night-San' loo system – where inmates don't have a lavatory in their cells and have to use a call bell to use the loo at night – as sinks were constantly leaking.
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Prisoners who are serving life sentences are allowed to keep caged birds in their cells
He said the many of the problems had been reported to private firm Carillion, which took over the facilities management of the jail in 2015, but that they were getting worse.
He wrote: "Here at Grendon we are on the computerised Night-San system. For those unfamiliar with this, it means there is no in-cell plumbing so we have to use the conveniences on electric unlock during bang-up times.
"On one of the landings the sinks have been out of action for months due to a leak that causes the cells underneath to flood if the sinks are used."
Inmates at HMP Grendon have complained to bosses about the 'searing heat'
He added: "All of these problems were reported immediately to Carillion but are left un-repaired for months."The most recent Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) report into the jail said that since Carillion took over, the repairs and maintenance at the jail had got 'markedly worse'.
The report, published last year, stated: "During 2014, the Board was concerned about the length of time taken for repairs and maintenance to equipment.
"However, the situation became markedly worse after the Estates contract with Carillion commenced in July 2015. "The company appears to have underestimated the nature of working in a secure prison environment, including obtaining security clearance for workers [and] repair delays have increased."
Experts at PetEducation.com say that budgies are in danger of overheating if they were kept in areas which get too much supplemental heat.
They claim the their pets are being killed by faulty heating systems
It says the main signs a budgie is suffering from heatstroke is when it "pants" and holds its wings away from its body in a desperate bid to cool down.
The website says the best way to treat a budgie suffering from heatstroke was to move it to a "quiet and cool locations" and keep the bird's feet in cool water – as well as spray the bird with cold water.
According to the Prison Service Instruction on Incentives and Earned Privileges lags can have pet birds if they are on 'enhanced privileges'.
It is normally just lifers who are allowed pet birds, although the final decision depends on the "discretion of the governor".
Awaiting comment from Ministry of Justice.
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