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Governor of HMP Berwyn suspended “while an investigation is carried out”

The governor a super prison in Wrexham has been suspended while an investigation takes place.

Russell Trent, governor of HMP Berwyn, has been at the helm of the prison since it opened in 2017.

Details of why Mr Trent’s suspension have not been released, however the Prison Service say “he has been suspended in accordance with our standard procedures while an investigation is carried out into allegations made against him”.

Located on the former Firestone site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, the Category C prison will eventually house 2,100 men.

At the opening of the prison last year, Mr Trent explained the different approach to reform and rehabilitation he planned to use at the Berwyn – citing the ‘Mandela Rules’ as a potential way forward.

At the time he said: “The principle of normality is something which came from the Mandela rules. Nelson Mandela after spending a long time in custody came up with a small number of rules, one of which is basically if you make the experience in custody as similar to the experience in the community then the transition from one to the other will be more seamless.

“I think that makes absolute sense. It is important we use normal language – language which people use in the community, rather than institutional language which people use in custody. One of those is rooms rather than cells, that is one of the many.

“I think using preferred names is equally as important because calling someone by a name they choose to be called by is the first step into showing respect. If you show respect it shows trust. If you have trust and respect it reduces the chance of violence between the men and the people who have the chance to look after them.”

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