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HMIP publishes annual report for 2010/11

Her Majesty's Inpsectorate of Prisons (HMIP) has today published their annual report for 2010/11.   Between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011, HMIP performed 97 inspections of prisons, police custody suites, immigration removal centres and other custodial establishments. Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons said:  "The improvements in prisons over the last five years are very welcome. Nevertheless, going to even the best run prison for only a short time is a very severe punishment indeed. I have found no holiday camps. But for many short-term prisoners, the reality will be being locked up in a small shared cell with an unscreened toilet for twenty hours a day - with too much access to drugs and negative peer pressure and too little access to work and resettlment help."  The report notes:  

  • most prisoners in most types of prisons report feeling safe and this was borne out by inspection findings;
  • the integrated drug treatment system was having a positive impact where it had been introduced; and
  • health care was generally improving.
But concerns remained about:
  • too little work, training or education - particularly for young adults;
  • inadequate resettlement support which was the worst performing area and a squeeze on small voluntary organisations who contribute to this;
  • the unacceptably high availability of drugs despite efforts to combat this;
  • the continuing high level of unmet mental health need in all forms of custody and particularly amongst women prisoners; and
  • the negative perceptions of prisoners from minority groups, particularly Muslim prisoners.
Inspections of immigration centres revealed a mixed picture although the report welcomes the intention to end the detention of children. Inspectors found improvements in police custody but were concerned that in some areas, there was ineffective use of schemes to divert those with mental health problems from police custody, and police cells were too frequently used for those who needed to be detained in a place of safety. To read the full report, please visit the HMIP website by clicking here.

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