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9 Jul 2019

Howard League responds to Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, published today (Tuesday 9 July).

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Once again, the Chief Inspector’s annual report makes depressing reading. The findings of suicide, self-injury, violence, drugs and squalor are all too familiar to people living and working in a prison system that has been asked to do too much, with too little, for too long.

“As the inspectorate has identified, placing a struggling prison in ‘special measures’ offers no guarantee of improvement. Prisons are rivers of crime, and there are dozens and dozens of them, still feeling the impact of disastrous policy decisions made years previously. Moving staff and resources from one part of an overcrowded system to another is merely robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, has indicated that he wants to abolish failing short prison sentences, which would ease pressure on the most troubled prisons, reduce crime and support victims. We call on him to get this legislation done and dusted immediately.”

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. The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons can be read on the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons website at:


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