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05 July 2023

PRT comment: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons’ annual report 2022–23

Commenting on the findings of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report, Pia Sinha chief executive of the Prison Reform Trust said:

“The chief inspector’s annual report paints a depressing picture of too many prisoners spending too little time out of cell and engaged in purposeful activity, often housed in cramped and overcrowded accommodation which struggles to meet even basic standards of decency.

“Much of this can be blamed on national trends such as the pressures of a rising prison population, insufficient officer numbers, and a dilapidated estate suffering from decades of underinvestment. The high numbers of women suffering extreme mental health difficulties should be a wakeup call to the government to turbo charge the delivery of its female offenders strategy.

“But the chief inspector’s report is far from being a catalogue of despair. It shows that prisons with strong leaders and ambitious plans to get prisoners engaged in rehabilitation were able to buck the national trend. More should be done to spread best practice and enable prisons to learn from each other.”