Prisoners share one-person cells during packed jail on Northants border

Overcrowding during Rye Hill Prison is forcing prisoners to share cells and use a toilets in spaces designed for one.

Ministry of Justice total uncover that 659 prisoners were congested into only 600 spaces during a 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 Certified 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”.

However, with a infancy of prisons packaged opposite England and Wales, they also have 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, Rye Hill’s race stood during 99 per cent of this capacity.

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

Figures expelled final month showed that 159 assaults were available during Rye Hill in 2017, 59 per cent aloft than a series in 2012. Of those attacks, 78 were on staff.

There were also 408 cases of self-harm available in a jail final year. In 2012, there were only 128.

The executive of a Prison Reform Trust, 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, including work, reserve and rehabilitation.

“Despite a probably permanent programme of jail building, overcrowding has been an unwavering existence of a jail complement given 1994. 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: “Prison numbers can fluctuate, that is because we have strong skeleton in place to safeguard we always have adequate jail places for those sent to us by a courts.

“We will always safeguard there are adequate cells opposite a jail estate, and conduct this in a approach that gives taxpayers a best probable value for money.

“We are investing £1.3 billion to build complicated new establishments, with adult to 10,000 new jail places and improved preparation facilities.”