BY HEATHER MILLS
Home Affairs Correspondent
About 100 Prison Service staff, including Derek Lewis, the director general, have been formally warned that they may face criticism over January's Parkhurst Prison escape.
General Sir John Learmont, who is conducting a review of all prison security, has in a draft report identified weaknesses within the service which allowed three high-risk prisoners to go on the run.
His warning letters - about 40 to staff at Prison Service headquarters and 60 to governors and officers at the Isle of Wight jail - invite comment before his final conclusions are sent to Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, next month.
The number of warning letters - double those sent out following the inquiry into the Whitemoor escape only a few weeks earlier - indicate that far more people will be held responsible.
The former governor, John Marriott, and six other staff have already been removed from their duties by the Home Secretary following an initial inquiry by Richard Tilt, the director of security, pending the outcome of all inquiries. He identified the deployment of inexperienced staff and the failure to check prisoners as factors contributing to the escape.
But Sir John's criticisms of Parkhurst, contained in one chapter of his security report, go much further, focusing on …