Preston Prison 'among most overcrowded in England'

Preston Prison
Preston Prison
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Preston Prison is one of the most over-crowded in the country, according to new figures.

Figures seen by the Howard League for Penal Reform suggest HMP Prison is the ninth worst for over-crowding in England and Wales. They say 517 inmates were in over-crowded cells in the 12 months ending in March 2019.

The worst jail for overcrowding was Wandsworth in London.

The Howard League claim most prisoners living in overcrowded conditions are required to share cells that were designed for one person, while a smaller number may be forced to sleep three to a cell, in cells meant for two.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League , said: “Keeping thousands of men cooped up like battery hens in overcrowded cells is never going to help them to lead crime-free lives on release.

“This is an intolerable situation and, while the numbers have come down slightly in recent years, they remain frighteningly high. The figures reveal a clear relationship with overcrowding and violence in prisons.

“This is a challenge for the new Secretary of State for Justice, who now has a chance to build a positive legacy. Bold action to reduce the number of people behind bars would not only ease pressure on the prisons; it would save lives, protect staff and prevent crime.”