In the year 2017–18 prison inspectors documented some of the most disturbing jail conditions they had ever seen, according to Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.
Launching his third annual report, Mr Clarke said these conditions had no place in the prison system in an advanced nation in the 21st century. “Violence, drugs, suicide and self‑harm, squalor and poor access to education are again prominent themes.”
Inspectors at the rat-infested HMP Liverpool could not remember worse conditions and the tragic toll of self-inflicted deaths at HMP Nottingham led Mr Clarke to describe the jail as “fundamentally unsafe.” The iconic Wormwood Scrubs in London suffered from appalling living conditions, violence, poor safety and seemingly intractable problems over repeated inspections.
Dr Danielle McDermott, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, supported by co-author Dr Dominic Willmott, Research Fellow in Legal & Criminal Psychology at the University of Huddersfield, offer readers of The Custodial Review an academic insight in the rising problem of self-harm and violence in male prisons.