HMP Hindley report slams 'unjustifiable' prison regime

A prison where inmates spent an "unjustifiable" amount of time in cells had one of the worst daily routines inspectors said they had ever seen. Inmates at Greater Manchester's HMP Hindley were regularly locked in cells for more than 24 hours, leaving them unable to attend work or education. Inspectors said almost every aspect of prisoners' life was adversely affected by the regime at the jail near Wigan. "Fundamental change" was needed, Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke said. During the visit to the category C prison in July, inspectors found "palpable" frustration among the prisoners who were often in their cells all day. Inspectors also found: a high number of assaults and fights, which remained high despite the severely restricted regime easy access to drugs with 49% of prisoners saying they could obtain illegal drugs and 16% developing a drug problem since entering the prison poor prisoner-staff relationships with inadequate support for inmates at risk of self-harm dirty residential wings with filthy landings prisoners struggling to get showers, clean clothing, bedding and cleaning materials. Mr Clarke said: "To make progress, there needs to be a very clear recognition of what is good at Hindley, and also where there needs to be fundamental change."Many examples of good practice could be found in the chaplaincy, education and health care," he said. But he added: "The same could not be said for residential areas."There needs to be an honest appraisal of the culture that predominates among some staff in these areas. The governor needs to be supported by his senior team in the delivery of clear, proactive and intrusive leadership."