Watchdogs warn over prison social care
THE prison service and local authorities are failing to plan for a rise in elderly, ill and frail inmates, a new report warns.
Many older jails are ill-equipped for prisoners in wheelchairs or with mobility problems, the assessment by two watchdogs found.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission flagged up concerns about a lack of support overnight - with some inmates unable to summon assistance after falling.
In effect a “postcode lottery” has developed where prisoners can receive a poor, satisfactory or very good service based on which facility they are sent to, according to the joint review of social care provided in prisons in Wales and England.
It said the increasing prison population, coupled with longer sentences and sentences being given for historic offences, have contributed to its “reshaping”.
As at December 2017, the number of people in prison aged 50 and over was 13,522 representing 16% of the total adult prison population.
Projections indicate that the number of individuals aged 50 and over held in custodial settings is likely to increase.
Some prisons show good practice and there are many caring staff and fellow prisoners, the watchdogs said.