‘City in­mates are miss­ing out on daily show­ers’

Western Mail - - NEWS - MAR­CUS HUGHES Re­porter mar­[email protected]­line.co.uk

NEARLY a quar­ter of prison in­mates in Cardiff do not have ac­cess to a daily shower, fig­ures have re­vealed.

Data re­leased by prison watch­dog the Howard League for Pe­nal Re­form show just 77% of pris­on­ers at HMP Cardiff said they could shower ev­ery day in 2016.

The re­port paints a damn­ing pic­ture of prison con­di­tions in parts of the coun­try.

HMP Swansea also fared par­tic­u­larly badly, with 65% of pris­on­ers claim­ing they had been given ac­cess to a shower ev­ery day. Bel­marsh prison in south­east Lon­don had the worst rat­ing of all 119 sur­veyed, with just 17% of pris­on­ers claim­ing they were al­lowed to shower ev­ery day.

In con­trast, the adult unit at HMP Parc, Brid­gend, and its young per­sons unit pre­sented fig­ures of 96% and 84% re­spec­tively. Just 3% of pris­on­ers at Usk Prison said they didn’t have ac­cess to a daily shower. Only three pris­ons in the UK had a 100% suc­cess rat­ing.

Frances Crook, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Howard League for Pe­nal Re­form, said: “The gov­ern­ment has said that it wants pris­ons to be clean and de­cent, but is ig­nor­ing the fact that thou­sands of chil­dren and adult men are smelly and dirty be­cause they can­not get a shower.

“It’s no good clean­ing up pris­ons if pris­on­ers are not able to keep clean.

“If we want peo­ple to be work ready, and ready to rein­te­grate to lead a good and use­ful life, peo­ple in prison must be at least able to have a shower ev­ery morn­ing, eat break­fast and face the day with pur­pose.

“Squalor and idle­ness will not ready peo­ple to be law-abid­ing cit­i­zens on re­lease.

“Bold ac­tion is needed to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple be­hind bars and ease pres­sure on a prison sys­tem that is fail­ing ev­ery­one.”

A Prison Ser­vice spokes­woman said: “All pris­on­ers have ac­cess to wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties ev­ery day, and the statis­tics demon­strate that the vast ma­jor­ity of pris­on­ers have daily ac­cess to show­ers.

“We are com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing de­cency and liv­ing con­di­tions across the es­tate, and the 3,500 ad­di­tional prison of­fi­cers we have re­cently re­cruited will im­prove regimes, in­clud­ing ac­cess to show­ers.”

> The new re­port paints a damn­ing pic­ture of prison con­di­tions in parts of the coun­try

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