UK: Appalling situation in prisons laid bare in latest annual report of chief prisons inspector

The new Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales issued his first annual report last week, noting that the "grim situation" highlighted by his predecessor has "not improved, and in some key areas it has, if anything, become even worse."

The number of assaults within prisons in 2015 grew to 20,000, a 27% increase on the previous year, while incidents of self-harm between April 2015 and March 2016 grew by a quarter to reach more than 32,000. In the same period there were 100 suicides, a 27% increase.

The reason for much of this violence has been put down to the increasing use of new psychoactive substances.

The report is made up of a series of thematic sections, covering: men in prison; women in prison; children in prison; immigration detention; police custody; court custody; and Border Force customs custody.

See: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons of England and Wales, Annual Report 2015-16 (pdf)

Press coverage:

  • Prisons now unacceptably violent, says watchdog (BBC News, link)
  • Liz Truss to continue Michael Gove's prison reforms (The Guardian, link)

    Meanwhile in Scotland: Nearly 70 prisoners sign petition alleging "medical neglect" at Edinburgh prison (Herald Scotland, link): "An investigation is underway after 65 prisoners signed a petition criticising the medical services at Edinburgh prison.

    The inmates have alleged “serious medical neglect” and claim that a prisoner who died recently did not get the help he needed."

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