Strangeways inmates are 'treated like animals', claims former prisoner as protest continues

Stuart Horner has vowed to continue his rooftop protest for 40 days

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The Independent Online

Inmates at Strangeways jail are being “treated like animals”, with some locked up for 23 hours a day and forced to beg for basic supplies such as toilet paper, a former inmate has said.

He also warned that HMP Manchester has been “a pressure cooker” of tension for months due to a staffing shortage and easy access to drugs and alcohol.

The warning came as Stuart Horner, 35, entered his third day of a rooftop protest over conditions at the Category A jail. A former Strangeways inmate told The Independent the prison was Victorian in both age and nature: “Two prisoners are locked up all day in a cell designed for one person. You only get one toilet roll between the two of you and you’re told it has to last the whole week.”

He added: “Strangeways is like a pressure cooker. There are more violent inmates… they have access to illegal drugs, legal highs and hooch.  There are not enough staff.”

A report by the Howard League for Penal Reform last October said the number of officers at Manchester had been cut by 32 per cent in less than four years.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The prison maintains a decent regime and provides toilet rolls and other basic essentials on demand.”

Horner, who was jailed in 2012 for shooting dead his uncle, has vowed to continue his protest for 40 days.