Figures exhibit overcrowding during Erlestoke Prison

Overcrowding during Erlestoke Prison is forcing prisoners to share cells, eating, sleeping and even regulating a toilet in spaces designed for one.

Ministry of Justice total uncover that 505 prisoners were congested into only 494 spaces during a Wiltshire jail in March.

Campaigners contend that a violent arise of a jail race is obliged for a outrageous boost in assaults on staff and other inmates – a conditions described final week as a “national emergency”.

The Prison Service measures a possess ability in terms of approved normal accommodation – a series of prisoners it says it can accommodate in a “good, decent customary of accommodation that a use aspires to yield all prisoners”.

But with a infancy of prisons packed opposite England and Wales, it has a apart magnitude called operational capacity. It is a limit series of prisoners a Prison Service says any establishment can safely hoop while progressing control and security.

In March, Erlestoke’s race stood during 96 per cent of this capacity.

Prisons enclose a series of one and two-person cells. In packed prisons, some-more inmates will be put in cells than they were creatively designed to hold.

Figures expelled final month showed that 78 assaults were available during Erlestoke in 2017, over double a series in 2012. Of those attacks, 20 were on staff.

There were also 150 cases of self-harm available in a jail final year. In 2012, there were only 65.

Prison Reform Trust executive Peter Dawson said: “Overcrowding isn’t simply a box of being forced to share a cramped space for adult to 23 hours a day where we contingency eat, nap and go to a toilet.

“It directly undermines all a basis of a decent jail system. Building prisons isn’t a resolution – violation a obsession to seizure is.”

Across a country, assaults have some-more than doubled in prisons over a final 5 years, and cases of self-harm have increasing by 93 per cent.

Frances Crook, arch executive of a Howard League for Penal Reform, pronounced final week: “This ashamed arise in assault and self-injury is a approach outcome of process decisions to concede a series of people behind bars to grow violent while starving prisons of resources.

“This is a inhabitant emergency, and a supervision contingency respond resolutely and urgently.”

A orator for a Ministry of Justice said: “We’re investing £1.3 billion to build new establishments, with adult to 10,000 new jail places and improved preparation facilities.”