Today’s annual report by HM Chief Inspector into the prison system has described the decline in standards as “staggering”, with violent incidents in jails up 26 per cent in a year. HM Chief Inspector has found that “not a single establishment that is safe to hold children and young people.”
Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston, who last week raised in Parliament the growing problems at Feltham Young Offenders Institute has called for urgent action and a root and branch review of the youth justice system.
“The jump in violence in our prisons is a crisis of the Government’s own making. The warning signs have been there. They’ve been warned by MPs, they’ve been warned by staff in our prisons and they’ve been warned by charities. Now they are being condemned by this damning report from HM Chief Inspector. The Budget for Prisons has been cut by more than a fifth over the past six years – cuts that are now proved to be a false economy. Prison staff have been cut by a quarter and those who remain are being put at risk. The human impact of Tory austerity is now being laid bare at the door of our prison system.
“The affects us all. Effective prisons should be about rehabilitation so people come out less likely to reoffend. Instead young people are coming out of our youth justice institutions more traumatized and with reduced life chances than when they went in.
“We are supposed to be an advanced society and this cannot continue. Our prison system is no longer fit for purpose and the Government must take urgent action.”
Seema Malhotra MP has secured an Urgent Question for today’s sitting in the House of Commons straight after Prime Minister’s Questions.
You can read the text of the ensuing discussion here.