Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK: Health and Social Care Committee publish report on health and care in prisons

1st November 2018

The Health and Social Care Committee published its report on health and care in prisons on the 1st November 2018. The report outlines the increasing regularity of violence, self-harm and drug use within prisons and that the overwhelming staff shortages and overcrowding are resulting in restricted regimes, as well as severely limiting opportunities for prisoners to engage in purposeful activities while serving their sentences.

The Committee makes a clear statement within the report that the Government is failing in its duty of care towards people detained in English prisons due to the unsafe, unsanitary and outdated establishments.

The report outlines a number of conclusions and recommendations regarding the health and social care within England’s prisons including:

  • the health of people in prison should be considered as a public health issue;
  •  the National Prison Healthcare Board should work with relevant stakeholders to measure health inequalities between people in prison and people in the general population, with the intention of reducing them;
  • the Board should co-design a more robust and comprehensive approach to identifying the health and care needs of prisoners with relevant stakeholders;
  • health, wellbeing, care and recovery need to be at the core of the Government’s plans for prison reform;
  • and there should be clear and ambitious targets for reducing the supply of, and demand for, illicit drugs in prisons and improving the recovery and associated health outcomes, of people in prison with a substance misuse problem.

Read a summary of the report here

Read the full report here.

 Read more:

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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