AN INQUIRY on Welsh prison provision is set to visit HMP Berwyn.

The Welsh Affairs Committee will meet inmates staff at governor Russ Trent during the fact-finding visit on Thursday.

The visit comes after Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League of Penal Reform, gave a stinging verdict on the prison during the committee's first session last week.

"Our prisons are shameful and Berwyn is going to be shameful very soon. It was built in a way that even Victorians would not build," she said

She cited a number of issues with conditions and facilities, saying that it was "going to be the most disgusting prison in Europe within 10 years".

The session focused on cross-border issues and also discussed facilities for female prisoners from Wales, as well as the provision of services such as health, education and rehabilitation.

HMP Berwyn opened in February last year. With a capacity of over 2,000 prisoners, it is the largest prison in England and Wales and the second largest in Europe.

Discussions with staff and inmates are likely to focus on conditions in the prison, where prisoners come from, and provision for Welsh-speaking offenders.

Speaking before the visit, committee chairman David TC Davies MP said: “Having opened our inquiry with an evidence session that focused on some of the key debates relating to prisons provision in Wales, the committee will now visit HMP Berwyn to hear the perspective of those directly affected – the governor, staff, and inmates.

"We are looking forward to gaining a practical insight into the issues that matter to them, and what can be done to ensure the prison system in Wales offers the best chance for rehabilitation.”