Staff at a violent and overcrowded jail did not always know the whereabouts of inmates, an inspection has revealed.
A report into Leicester Prison said the main wing was “often chaotic” and the rate of assaults
on staff was “very high”.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons was highly critical of the control of inmates as it issued a damning report into the Victorian jail.
Prisoners ‘poorly controlled’
Inspectors described basic procedural security as poor, saying: “Staff often could not account for prisoners and we routinely found prisoners where they were not supposed to be.”
They also said unlocking and movement of prisoners to activities was “poorly controlled and at times chaotic”.
According to the report, during spot checks inspectors were unable to obtain an accurate account of where inmates were at any one time “because they were not monitored properly”.
Campaigners say the findings highlight just how catastrophic the impact of prison overcrowding is, while the Government gave the report as an example of how ageing prisons need reform.
Assaults on staff
There were 325 male prisoners at HMP Leicester when the inspection was carried out in September and October last year – 50% more than the number it was built for.
Assaults in the previous six months totalled 75, which is nearly three times the number recorded in other local prisons.
The rate of attacks on prison workers was almost five times that of similar local institutions, while levels of prisoner self-harm had increased.
The report concluded that the facility had deteriorated since it was last examined in November 2013.
Source: HM Inspectorate of Prisons
Date Published: March 8, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown