Violence, acts of protest, prison conditions, justice reforms: find out what is new about prisons and justice in this country. Prison Insider monitors the press on a regular basis.
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5/07/2022 HMP Brixton: ‘a prison in trouble’
Prison inspectors have called HMP Brixton ‘a prison in trouble’ with prisoners ‘breaking the rules without challenge’ from staff who either ‘did not have high enough expectations or turned a blind eye’. Staff-prisoner relationships were described as ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘lacking professional boundaries’, according to the latest inspection of the category C resettlement prison which has a normal capacity of 509 but was holding 720 men at the time of inspection. Many prisoners shared ‘tiny, cramped, and dilapidated cells with inadequate furniture and graffiti on the walls’, inspectors found. It was reported that there were ‘not nearly enough activities’ for prisoners and, on G wing which holds vulnerable prisoners, there was ‘even less to do’. ‘If this wing is to remain, leaders in the prison and at the prison service will have to give some serious thought to how they improve provision to this largely compliant but frustrated group of prisoners some of whom, if they are not given suitable support or access to treatment programmes, could pose a risk to the public when they are released.’ — The Justice Gap
7/07/2022 Lockdown regime at HMP Lewes ‘inhumane’, says watchdog
A prison watchdog body has said that the lockdown regime at a Category B prison in Sussex is inhumane and highlighted the ‘shocking’ plight of prisoners on stranded for years over tariff on indeterminate sentences. The annual Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) report of HMP Lewes published today states bluntly that its members ‘do not consider that the regime during this year has been humane’. For ‘more than two months at least’, prisoners were allowed to be unlocked for just half an hour a day and the ‘best’ regime offered was ‘very far from ideal’. ‘We cannot know what the long-term impact on prisoners’ physical and mental welfare will be of being kept in cells for such long periods,’ the IMB added. — The Justice Gap
06.06.2022 The Government Must Take Immediate Action On Prison Education.
This report is just the latest to highlight the failures of current prison education provision. Last year the Government’s own Prisons Strategy White Paper described education as “not good enough”, while Ofsted has said that it is “extremely poor”. Around 60% of all prisons are assessed by Ofsted as “requires improvement” or “inadequate”, while the equivalent figure in other parts of the further education and skills sector is just 20%. — Russel webster
19/05/2022 Time to unlock prison education.
The point is, we do keep doing the same things and the results are hugely disappointing and a million miles away from where they could be. If we are serious as a nation in wishing to reduce crime and reoffending, education needs to be at the heart of the rehabilitative journey for a prisoner. The report goes into detail about the funding situation which most certainly needs to be addressed. But money isn’t the only issue. — Fe news
04/05/2022 The Ministry of Justice is hosting a free online workshop to encourage construction companies to recruit prison leavers
It is inviting construction companies to log in to the webinar on the morning of 9th June – no charge – to find out more about recruiting ex-offenders. Speakers from Willmott Dixon, Kier and New Futures Network will discuss how recruiting prison leavers has benefited their organisations and how other businesses can do the same. The webinar will also provide advice and information on the practicalities of recruiting prison leavers and recruiting people on release on temporary licence. — The Construction index
03/05/2022 Laughing through the madness – And a ‘very jolly’ graduation ceremony!
Great paintings come out of prisons. Over the years we’ve printed a lot of them in Inside Time. The Koestler Awards excites interest with its kudos, financial awards and exhibitions. The artists I’ve interviewed often talk about the beneficial effects of creating something out of almost nothing, with paper, pencil, colours or indeed with soap or matchsticks or buttons and beans. It gives a sense of achievement that is very hard to find when stuck behind bars, and these days locked into cells for long hours. — Inside Time