Bedford Jail inmates ‘can get medicine simpler than garments or bedding’

HMP Bedford
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HMP Bedford was described as a “good instance of every little thing that’s fallacious with the jail system”

Inmates at a “substandard” jail claimed it was simpler to pay money for medicine than garments or bedding, a watchdog has discovered.

The report on HMP Bedford discovered virtually twice the variety of prisoners stated it was “straightforward” to entry medicine, in comparison with a earlier inspection in February 2014.

It additionally found incidents of self-harm had virtually doubled from 67 to 121.

The Jail Service stated it was taking motion to handle the extent of substance misuse at HMP Bedford.

The essential report units out the findings made by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons in Might.

It discovered that of 72 suggestions made after the jail was final inspected greater than two years earlier, solely 12 had been achieved and 4 partially achieved.

The report discovered the usage of medicine beforehand often known as “authorized highs” was having a “critical affect” on security on the jail.

The usage of the psychoactive substance Spice – which mimics hashish – was prevalent, inspectors discovered.

Particulars of broken furnishings, graffiti, shortages of clothes and soiled, unscreened showers had been additionally famous.

Peter Clarke, chief inspector of prisons, wrote: “The stark actuality is that prisoners advised us it was simpler to get unlawful medicine within the jail than it was to get garments or sheets.

“Requirements within the jail have declined to unacceptable ranges.

“I’m not suggesting that employees at HMP Bedford should not working arduous – they clearly had been, and a few vital issues had been put in place to enhance issues sooner or later.”

The jail held just below 500 male prisoners on the time of the inspection.

Frances Criminal, chief government of the Howard League for Penal Reform, stated Bedford was “a very good instance of every little thing that’s fallacious with the jail system”.

She added: “It’s unsafe, overcrowded and understaffed. Prisoners can receive medicine simply however can’t get necessities comparable to garments and sheets.”

A Jail Service spokeswoman responded: “Security in prisons is prime to the right functioning of our justice system and an important a part of our reform plans.

“There are a selection of things, together with the supply of psychoactive substances, that have to be tackled. We’re rolling out necessary nationwide testing of artificial medicine, which is able to assist to finish the movement of those harmful medicine into our prisons.”