With 75% of HMP Pentonville's population on long-term remand and a lack of focus on preparation for release, Pentonville's problems are set to continue, says the Independent Monitoring Board in its 2022-23 annual report, released today. Together with a normalisation of only an hour a day out of cell for many, these conditions do nothing to address the previous Justice Secretary’s aim of giving prisoners ‘a better shot at rehabilitation’.
On 12 December 2022, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) wrote to Dominic Raab expressing their grave concerns about the increasing numbers of prisoners being sent to Pentonville by the local courts in response to the increasing Operational Capacity (OpCap) sanctioned by HMPPS. When Pentonville was designed in 1842 the OpCap (or then equivalent) was 520. The current OpCap is 1155, and this is due to rise to 1170 over the next few weeks, with a plan ultimately to increase it to 1205. This poses a serious risk to safety, security, the proper running of the planned regime and effective rehabilitation.