Prison Reform Trust finds prisons system under ‘unprecedented strain’

The Prison Reform Trust has released the Autumn installment of their Bromley Briefings factfile series. The briefings provide a regular overview of the state of the prison system in the UK, with detailed information and analysis.

The briefing notes that the prison system is under an unprecedented strain; that we have “a public prison service cut by £263million in three years, struggling to cope with the loss of more than 12,500 (28%) of its staff since 2010 and an ever-rising prison population”

Among the key findings (relating to England and Wales) are:

  • Between 31 March 2010 and 30 June 2014 the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff employed in the public prison estate fell by 28%, a reduction of 12,530 staff.
  • At the end of September 2014, 80 of the 118 prisons in England and Wales were overcrowded.
  • Private prisons have held a higher percentage of their prisoners in overcrowded accommodation than public sector prisons every year for the past 16 years.
  • In the 12 months to March 2014, there were a total of 23,478 incidents of self-harm in prisons, 756 more than in the previous 12 months. 27% of self-harm incidents occurred within the first month of arriving in a prison— 10% in the first week.
  •  In 2013–14, just 25% of prisoners entered employment on release from prison, a fall of two percentage points since 2011–12.

For the full report, please see Prison Reform Trust (2014) Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile: Autumn 2014



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