Watch­dogs warn over prison so­cial care

Cynon Valley - - NEWS -

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.

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