Inspector warns on jail cuts

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Inspector warns on jail cuts

The Chief Inspector of Prisons has attacked proposed cuts in funding at a jail, which he said are "unacceptable" and will result in inmates being locked in their cells for almost 24 hours a day.

Sir David Ramsbotham argued that this would prevent inmates being rehabilitated and learning new skills to stop them reoffending on their release. His outspoken report follows a visit to Gloucester prison, which houses both young offenders and adults. He said the jail faced a cut in running costs of 15 per cent by April 2000.

"It is quite unacceptable for a modern prison to find itself in the position where, by the end of the century most prisoners will be locked in their cells all the time save for small periods on exercise and a little association," he said.

Paul Cavadino, chairman of the Penal Affairs Consortium, commented: "The bleak regime ... would make it impossible to rehabilitate prisoners. It would turn them out of prison much more embittered and more confirmed in criminal attitudes than when they went in." Jason Bennetto