‘Deep crisis’ in UK jails as the use of force against prisoners doubles


The shortage of experienced staff and overcrowding is due to almost 60 cases per 100 inmates.

With continuing concerns about high levels of abuse and unrest in jails, the use of force against prisoners has doubled over the past decade.

In the 12 months before the Covid pandemic started, the lack of trained prison personnel, overcrowding, and the subsequent rise in violence against prisoners and staff are responsible for 49,111 use of force in England and Wales. In the year beginning April 2019, force was used 59.1 times per 100 prisoners, according to information collected under the Freedom of Information Act. Released in 2011-12, the last such figures showed that force was used approximately 27 times per 100 inmates. The findings reflected chaos inside a British prison system identified last year by the Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture as “in deep crisis.” experts said.

“Deep cuts in prison funding and staffing in the first half of the last decade led to a sharp rise in assaults, self-harm and bad behavior by prisoners, as well as a reduction in opportunities for rehabilitation. Mick Pimblett, deputy general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association, said this was no surprise: “Deep cuts in prison funding and staffing in the first half of the last decade led to a sharp rise in assaults, self-harm and bad behavior by inmates, as well as a decline in rehabilitation opportunities. Mick Pimblett, deputy general secretary of the Prison Officers’ A clear contributing factor to these statistics is the decreased staffing and expenditure cuts levied on [HM Prison and Probation Service] in recent years. Visits were curtailed, prisoners spent much more time in cells, and there was a decline in group activities. Now there is controversy about how to eliminate any of the limitations without a return to anarchy. The recently departed chief inspector of prisons, Peter Clarke, warned that because of the health emergency, the burden on the system “has not gone away because of the health emergency. “Pimblett said officials are now seeking to ensure that the system does not return to the “lawless” state it encountered just before the pandemic. “Since March 2020, the Covid crisis has proven that – with improved staffing, investment and span of control – violence in prisons can be reduced by building relationships with prisoners in ways that were not possible before March 2020,” he said. “But Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform said the pandemic had exposed some “truly horrible” aspects of prison life. ”

That’s an extremely damning indictment[of]how dangerous and frightening prisons used to be, if that’s desirable. From 2010 to 2016, Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons, said there was now an opportunity to change conditions. “Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons from 2010 to 2016, said there was an opportunity now to improve conditions. ” There were so many jails that were really dangerous places.

It is important that if controls are loosened in jails, it is done in a way that does not allow us to simply revert to what occurred before and does not allow the cycle of violence to escalate out of control. There are now some options for the first time in a decade. The way it was before, we can’t go there. The Prison Service said, “British prison officers beat compliant inmates, report saysRead moreThe Prison Service said, ” We spend £ 100 million on improving prison safety and combating the guns, narcotics and mobile phones that contribute to violence and crime behind bars, the study said. In the most recent quarter for which data is available, violence dropped 37 percent, and 19 percent in the 12 months to June 2020.


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