Alarm over cramped jail cells
9:58am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
MORE than 530 prisoners were kept in overcrowded cells last year at a local jail, figures obtained by a charity claim.
Nationwide, about 19,140 prisoners were forced to share a cell designed for one person during the financial year 2012-13, the Howard League for Penal Reform has said.
Forest Bank Prison, at Agecroft, Swinton, with inmates from areas including Bolton, was included on a list revealing overcrowding data for each prison in England and Wales.
The Category B men’s private prison had 539 prisoners sharing overcrowded cells.
Frances Crook, Howard League chief executive, said: “At last we have the real picture and it is far worse than anyone imagined — one in four people behind bars are packed like sardines into cramped cells.
“Such crowded conditions leave staff hugely overstretched.
“Staff cuts and overcrowding mean that grown men spend all weekend and up to 22 hours a day during the week cooped up like battery chickens.
“No wonder violence and self-injury is rife.”
Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said: “Prisoners are treated humanely but prison is not somewhere that anyone should be comfortable about going back to.”
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