Bristol Prison over capacity by one third
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to end “pointless” short prison sentences, as new official figures show that Bristol Prison is over capacity by 33.33%
The extent of overcrowding in prisons is revealed today in the Ministry of Justice’s latest Prison Population bulletin. It shows that, as of the end of 2019, there are 68 prisons in England and Wales (58%) where the number of prisoners exceeds capacity.
The overcrowding adds to more bad news for HM Prison Bristol. Bristol Prison finds itself in the bottom 14% of national prisons, earning the lowest rating "performance is of serious concern".
Bristol Prison is one of only five prisons currently subject to an Urgent Notification from the HMIP. The troubled prison is the only prison to have received an Urgent Notification so far in the 2019/20 period.
Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat Bristol West Spokesperson James Cox said:
"Bristol Prison has long been in crisis. With overcrowding at these levels, it's little wonder that violence, self-harm, suicide and drug use are commonplace.
"Overstretched staff simply can’t cope. That means prisoners aren’t being rehabilitated, resulting in high re-offending rates and more victims of crime.
"The Conservatives’ sentencing plans will only make the problem worse. They will mean more prisoners and more overcrowding in Bristol Prison, while doing nothing to actually prevent crime. "If the Government is serious about cutting crime and making our communities safe, they must end the pointless short prison sentences that cause overcrowding and actually make people more likely to reoffend.
"I will be writing to the Justice Secretary to restate the urgency with which Bristol Prison needs reform and to call on him to end short prison sentences in order to aid rehabilitation and end overcrowding in Bristol Prison."
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