U.K only has one percent of prison space left
Britain facing worst prison crisis
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 05:33:59 GMT
Britain is facing the worst crisis in capacity of its prisons since 2008 with detention centers having only one percent free space to accommodate criminals.
Prison experts said on Saturday that out of more than 85,000 prison capacity across England and Wales only 265 are free. The figure is the highest since the coalition government took office four years ago.
Current conditions in crowded prisons could lead to riots and hinder rehabilitation in the detention centers, experts warned.
They also accused UK justice authorities, particularly Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, of paying 14 privately-run prisons to cram more inmates into cells.
Managing firms of these private sector prisons include Serco and G4S, the two support service companies that have overcharged the British government by “tens of millions of pounds” for the monitoring of non-existent electronic tags.
Critics say the overcrowding crisis in UK prisons has been doubled after justice authorities closed some of the state prisons in an attempt to save budget.
Paddy Scriven, general secretary at the Prison Governors Association, said there has to be “a very real question mark” over closing jails so quickly, adding that it is “politically unacceptable” to shut prisons ahead of the general election in the UK.
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has accused Grayling of being “irresponsible,” saying that his future could be “short-lived.”
“In 14 of the past 22 weeks, including the past seven consecutive weeks, prisons have come within one percent of capacity,” the Labour Party said.
The crisis is expected to worsen as the UK government is considering passing a law that would add more than 1,000 inmates to the current figure.