The nine worst prisons are named

The nine worst jails in England and Wales have been identified and for the first time named. Tightening budgets and overcrowding are pushing the prison system into a deeper malaise. Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent, reports.
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The Independent Online
A series of walk-outs and damning reports by inspectors and officials has forced the Prison Service to take urgent action to improve conditions at nine jails.

The prisons have been singled out as needing special managerial attention following a range of criticisms including neglect, chronic staff shortages, and impoverished regimes.

Three of the jails are for young offenders aged under 21, three are a mix of men and women, two are for male criminals and the remaining one is for women.

The nine have been selected from the 135 jails in England and Wales, but the full list has not been published before.

Prison officers have long warned that the jails are rapidly deteriorating and in need of further investment and additional staff. Soaring prison numbers, which have topped the record 62,000 mark, and a clampdown on spending have placed huge pressures on the prison estate. Sir David Ramsbotham, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, has agreed with Richard Tilt, the Director General of the Prison Service, to delay any visits to the problem jails until remedial measures have had chance to take effect.

Criticisms by inspectors of the nine jails include an "impoverished and neglectful" regime at Glen Parva, conditions for young offenders at Chelmsford that may breach United Nations minimum standards, and "very serious intimidation and violence" at Holloway.


Blundeston: Secure category B male prison, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Bullwood Hall: Young offenders' institution for females in Hockley, Essex.

Chelmsford: For convicted and unconvicted male adults and young offenders in Essex.

Glen Parva: Young offenders' institution for males in Wigston, Leicestershire.

Hindley: Remand centre for male young offenders aged under 21 near Wigan, Lancashire.

Holloway: Women's jail in north London.

Low Newton: Remand centre for men and women near Durham.

Risley: Low-risk category C prison for men and women in Warrington, Cheshire.

Wellingborough: Low-risk category C adult male training prison in Northamptonshire.