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Unsafe and inhumane conditions at HMP Wandsworth

Conditions in HMP Wandsworth reflect the failures of the prison system as a whole. In its latest annual report, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of HMP Wandsworth reports no real progress in resolving problems caused by years of underinvestment in the fabric, facilities and staff at the prison. 

During the year:

  • The shortage of available staff seriously undermined the ability of the prison to function effectively.  The percentage of available officers rarely reached above 50%.
  • The prison was not safe.  Violence levels continue to rise.  Assaults rose by over 20% in all areas.
  • Conditions remained inhumane, with serious overcrowding in Victorian buildings where the fabric continues to deteriorate.

IMB Chair, Tim Aikens, said:

“Recent events at Wandsworth have demonstrated the shortcomings of the prison system that the IMB has been highlighting repeatedly for many years.  Prisoners are being failed and most have a severely reduced chance of rehabilitation upon release.  We are told there is significant investment in the prison system, but we see little evidence of this in Wandsworth.”