Wymott, Garth and Preston Prison all have inmates living in over crowded accomodation, MoJ data show

Wymott prison and Garth Prison both in Leyland are performing worse than it did prior to the pandemic.
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The performance of two Lancashire prisons has worsened since the pandemic, according to the latest official ratings.

Wymott prison and Garth Prison both in Leyland are performing worse than it did prior to the pandemic.

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However, bucking the trend Preston Prison is performing better over the same period of time.

The Prison Reform Trust said the latest reports on prison performance show the system is experiencing a "perfect storm" of rising prison population and poor working conditions.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice's prison performance report give ratings based on four main priority areas, security, training, drug and alcohol addictions, and readjustment to society.

HMP Wymott between Leyland and Chorley.HMP Wymott between Leyland and Chorley.
HMP Wymott between Leyland and Chorley.

The report shows Wymott prison received a score of 53% for the year to March 2023, meaning it had a "performance of concern" rating.

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It was a fall from 63% in 2019-20, the last year ratings were handed out.

Garth prison received a score of 63% for the year to March 2023, meaning it had a "good performance" rating.

It was a fall from 64% in 2019-20, the last year ratings were handed out.

Whereas Preston prison received a score of 73% for the year to March 2023, meaning it had a "good performance" rating.

Preston Prison - 1790Preston Prison - 1790
Preston Prison - 1790
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It was an improvement from 70% in 2019-20, the last year ratings were handed out.

Across England and Wales, only 13 of the 119 prisons evaluated were awarded the "outstanding performance" rating, a significant drop compared with the performance in 2019-20, where 19 prisons had achieved the top-tier recognition.

It also showed there was a slight increase in the number of prisons rated as a "serious concern" compared with the previous year. Nine prisons fell into this category, a rise of two from in the previous evaluation.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "The latest figures show that over half of all prisons are performing well and, where there are issues, we are providing intensive support for those jails to drive long-term improvements, recruit extra staff, bolster security and boost training and work opportunities for prisoners so we can better protect the public."

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They added they are working on the "biggest prison expansion" in over a century by building 20,000 new prison places.

Separate data from the Home Office found the rate of prisoners living in overcrowded conditions increased from 21% in 2021-22, to 23% in the most recent year to March.

About 70% of the estimated 668 prisoners in Preston prison were said to be in crowded accommodation.

Compared to just 17% of the estimated 1,118 prisoners in Wymott and 2% of the estimated 798 prisoners in Garth.

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Pia Sinha, chief executive of the Prison Reform Trust, said the latest figures show the prison system is "chronically overburdened".

She added: "Prisons are experiencing a perfect storm of a rapidly rising prison population with nowhere to put them, and working conditions which are driving staff away in droves.

"Faced with escalating violence, self-harm, appalling living conditions and prisoners left with nothing to do all day – the human cost of this crisis is shameful."