From Daily Mirror: Rats and cockroaches ran free in HMP Birmingham as blood, vomit and excrement lay unattended and fearful staff locked themselves away in their offices.
From The Guardian: The Ministry of Justice has been warned that failings at a privately run Birmingham prison reflect a broader prison crisis, as overcrowding and dwindling resources lead to increases in violence, drug use and self-harm in jails across England and Wales.
HMP Birmingham was dramatically taken from the control of outsourcing giant G4S and returned to public governance on Monday after a damning inspection that uncovered rife drug abuse, violence and filthy conditions at the jail.
Earlier this year, the high number of deaths at the prison, including suicides and drug overdoses, came under scrutiny.
A 14-hour riot involving at least 500 prisoners in December 2016 has been cited as a pivotal point in the jail’s deterioration, although a separate investigation published on Monday revealed problems at the jail had been escalating for months prior to the disturbance.
Chronic staff shortages contributed in part to a breakdown in authority and increasing instability ultimately led to prisoners policing themselves, the investigation found.
Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secetary, called for a temporary ban on further privatisation of the justice sector. “Once again we see the dangerous consequences of the ever-greater privatisation of our justice system,” he said.
From Daily Mirror: The “explosion” in violence in Britain’s jails has been blamed squarely on Tory cuts by the nation’s chief inspector.
From The Independent: The number of prison officers resigning from their jobs has more than doubled in the last two years amid soaring levels of violence and self-harm in UK jails, The Independent can reveal.
Britain’s prison crisis caused by ‘poor political decisions’ by Conservatives and huge cuts, says former head of jails
From The Independent: The former head of the prison service has accused the Tory justice secretary, David Gauke, of attempting to shift blame for violence and disorder in British prisons from his own government to the spread of former legal highs among prisoners.