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23 Apr 2014

Brinsford: A prison of filth and failure

Responding to the HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Brinsford prison published today (23 April 2014), Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

“The inspection of Brinsford prison reveals an unsafe, ineffective and violent institution that should be immediately closed. Rather than locking up teenagers in squalid conditions, letting some out of their cells for just 10 minutes a day, the government needs to start to reconsider its policy of wasting public funds and young people’s lives behind bars. Given that this is the latest in the long line of terrible inspection reports on the state of our prisons, it is a damning indictment that the Chief Inspector has crowned Brinsford as the single worst prison he has come across in his tenure. This report should also be a wake-up call for magistrates who need to stop sending teenagers to dangerous and failing institutions like Brinsford and should instead make use of robust and effective community sentences run by probation services and available in their local areas.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the UK. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
  2. A copy of the inspection report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 23 April 2014 at
  3. For examples of best practice in community sentences for young people, see the Howard League’s Community Programme Awards:


Rob Preece

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