Disabled prisoners ill-treated


Two severely disabled prisoners were locked in a cell designed for a single inmate for almost 24 hours a day, a damning inspection of an “overcrowded” Victorian jail reveals today.

The elderly men, who had not showered for months, relied on fellow prisoners to take them meals at HMP Winchester, the HM Inspectorate of Prisons found. Staff efforts were said to often be “haphazard, inconsistent and badly coordinated” while “foul abuse” was going unchecked towards vulnerable inmates, of whom four in five feared for their safety.

Inspectors of the category B facility said prison guards were unaware that the two inmates could not use a shower on their landing as it had not been adapted for disabled use. The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, warned it would be a “long, hard task” to improve conditions at Winchester where drugs were “easily available”.

The National Offender Management Service said deficiencies would be “properly addressed and rectified”.