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18 Nov 2015

Howard League response to Humber prison inspection report

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Humber prison, published today (Wednesday 18 November).

Humber was formed from the merger of two prisons, Wolds and Everthorpe, in April 2014. When inspectors visited in July 2015, they found a prison that had deteriorated during the changes and needed to improve.

The inspection team concluded that the merger had been “traumatic and prolonged”, and performance was not good enough – and had worsened – in the key areas of safety, resettlement and purposeful activity. The number of assaults against prisoners and staff was much higher than in other prisons.

Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The government has recognised that the justice system is in urgent need of reform, but this report shows how, without appropriate planning, reorganisation of the prison estate can be detrimental to safe conditions and reducing reoffending. The merger of Wolds and Everthorpe prisons has created a bigger jail with bigger problems. Significant support and resources from the Ministry of Justice will be needed to achieve the improvements required. Rather than merging jails or building new ones, ministers should set out a clear plan to reduce the prison population and stick to it.”

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. A copy of the Humber inspection report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.


Rob Preece
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