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13 Jul 2022

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 for England and Wales 2021-22, published today (Wednesday 13 July).

Andrea Coomber, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This important report highlights many of the problems that the Howard League has seen through its own work with people in prison – not least how staff shortages have contributed to men, women and children being locked in their cells for hours on end with nothing to do, and the damage this causes to their mental health.

“It speaks to the utter pointlessness of time spent behind bars. People who require support to move on from crime and lead healthy lives are being crammed into overcrowded cells and left to sleep through their sentences while classrooms and workshops sit empty.

“As the Conservative Party prepares to choose its next leader and Prime Minister, here is compelling evidence of the need for change. When prisons fail to reduce crime, turn lives around and prepare people for safe release, what is the point in building more of them?”

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.
  2. The report can be found on the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons website.
  3. Earlier this year, the Howard League invited its members in prison, members with loved ones in prison and young people in contact with its legal advice line to explain what the Covid-19 pandemic had been like for them. Their responses are summarised in a blogpost that can be found on the Howard League website.


Noor Khan
Press and Public Affairs Officer
Mobile: +44 (0)20 7241 7873

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