In response to the Chief Inspector of Prisons annual report published today, Andy Keen-Downs, Chief Executive of Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust), said: 

“The lack of progress in prisoner rehabilitation since the Chief Inspector of Prisons’ last annual report is hugely disappointing, if unsurprising. Despite pandemic restrictions lifting, the report emphasises severe concerns across the estate regarding the time prisoners spend locked up and the lack of purposeful activity. 

“At many prisons where we work, available visiting places have been permanently reduced since restrictions were lifted, and the report states that some prisons now have insufficient places to meet demand “for no clear reason.” This is very concerning and completely counterproductive in encouraging prisoners to maintain relationships with their children and families. 

“Concerns are compounded by staff shortages across all services - an issue to which the Government urgently needs to respond so that we can ensure safe and stable regimes for prisoners and the staff working hard to support them. However, as the report points out, prisons such as Birmingham and Hewell show that ambitious Governors can achieve effective transformation despite the challenges. 

“For leaders, plans for progress should now involve prioritising prisoners’ health and wellbeing and supporting them to build or maintain positive relationships with family and significant others, or other healthy relationships. Not only is this proven to reduce reoffending, but it also reduces self-harm and violence and ensures better outcomes for prisoners and their families.” 

You can read the full report at https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons/inspections/annual-report-2022-23/