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Alarming sanitary conditions reported at HMP Coldingley

Over half of the prisoner population at HMP Coldingley still live in cramped unimproved wings built in the 1960s, lacking in-cell sinks and toilets that are standard in nearly all other prisons. The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for HMP Coldingley in Surrey have been shocked at the worsening and unhygienic state of its decrepit sanitation.

In its annual report, the Coldingley IMB notes that:

  • In the old residential wings basic sanitation is failing, with some toilet areas being unusable. Prisoners are seeking alternatives and faeces and bottles of urine turn up daily in the rubbish sorted by the prison recycling facility.
  • A refurbishment plan to provide in-cell sanitation has begun, however this will not be completed until 2026 at the earliest. In the meantime, many prisoners will continue to live in unhygienic conditions.
  • There have been serious challenges maintaining effective CCTV due to the low ceilings on some wings, compromising both prisoner and staff safety.

However, the Board is pleased to report that:

  • Coldingley maintains an exceptionally open regime with men out of cell for up to eight hours each day.
  • A strong community ethos has been observed within the prison and staff and prisoner relationships generally appear to be positive.

IMB Coldingley Chair, Mark Judd, said:

“Coldingley has many positives, not least its staffing and strong sense of community, but much of the aging infrastructure is falling apart. Men call it ‘the no-toilet prison’. The state of some facilities we have seen lately is disgraceful. It is inhumane for men to have to wait so long for eventual refurbishment in such conditions.”