HM Prison Usk is meeting the majority of its targets, according to government inspectors, a new performance report says.

The report from the Ministry of Justice shows that the Male Category C site saw the 16th-biggest reduction in the rate of prisoner-on-prisoner violence of 118 prisons assessed during 2017-18.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, the rate of prisoners absconding was almost zero, compared to a target of 13.7 per 100,000 prisoners.

The report also shows that the prison operated within budget, and met its targets for security and measuring the quality of prisoner life.

A HM Prison Service spokesperson said: “We are really pleased with the positive work the governor and his staff are doing at HMP Usk to reduce violence and improve conditions for prisoners.

“Staff are working hard to reduce the rates of self-harm by getting prisoners more involved in activities like education and training.”

Nationally, prisons were given higher ratings on average in relation to incidents of assault and self-harm, but the Ministry of Justice said outcomes were not directly comparable with previous years due to a change in the framework.

Issues with data reporting have meant that the extent of assault and self-harm in institutions may not historically have been fully recorded.

It was added this could account for self-harm related incidents rising by a rate of 73.1 per 1,000 prisoners at Usk Prison.

Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the national picture was a concern though.

She said: “It is shameful that so many prisons are performing so poorly, with violence and self-injury again rising to new highs.

“Given we now know that prisons have been under-reporting assaults and self-injury incidents, the fear must be that some are faring even worse than the ratings indicate.

“On the horizon, however, we should see improvements in the next few years if the number of people in prison keeps falling.

“Further steps to reduce the prison population would save lives, protect staff and prevent more people being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”

Across England and Wales, 14 of the 118 prisons assessed were considered to be “exceptional”. At the other end of the scale, the performance of 15 was of serious concern.

Of the 45 Male Category C prisons, HMP Usk was one of 24 to at least meet the majority of targets.