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7 Nov 2017

Howard League responds to Erlestoke prison inspection

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Erlestoke prison, published today (Tuesday 7 November).

Inspectors visited the prison, in Wiltshire, in June and July this year.

Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It is a sign of how bad our prison system has become when issues that are traditionally associated with local jails – dirt, disrepair, violence, bullying, drugs and self-injury – are now problems faced by training prisons such as Erlestoke.

“As a training prison, Erlestoke is supposed to provide purposeful activity, but inspectors found that one in four men was locked in his cell during the working day and many other prisoners had nothing useful to do. This is not going to help them to become law-abiding citizens on release.

“Ministers must act boldly and decisively to stop the prison system deteriorating further. By reducing the prison population, we can save lives, protect staff and prevent more people being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
  1. A copy of the Erlestoke prison inspection report will be available from Tuesday 7 November on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.


Rob Preece
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