House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts Mental health in prisons Eighth Report of Session 2017–19. This is their (in red) summary of that report.  Summary Record high numbers of self-inflicted deaths and incidents of self-harm in prisons are a damning indictment of the current state of the mental health of those in prison and... Continue Reading →



People that are in prison are not the wealthiest in Britain. Sadly a large percentage of prisoners live below the poverty line. Hence, poor social skills and social-economic depravation coupled with the criminality. The reality is it is only a very small percentage of prisoners that actually gain from criminality. The majority live from hand... Continue Reading →


There is still 90% of prison estates that do not have in-cell phones yet. Therefore, I will give you a quick overview of how the phone system really works in our prisons. The way you phone people from prison (right from the start – no exceptions, no “one phone call allowed”, nothing like that) is... Continue Reading →


This is certainly not the answer... Last month, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart announced that every officer in an adult male prison will be equipped with PAVA – a synthetic pepper spray which can be used to incapacitate violent prisoners. The £2 million investment followed what was described as “a successful pilot”. The government made no... Continue Reading →

Approved Premises

Most released prisoners can expect to be accommodated in what used to be called ‘hostels’ and are now called Approved Premises, or APs. When I was released in 2013 after 12 years banged up I arrived at Bristol AP, Bridge House, in the grip of joy and resentment in about equal measure. The resentment was... Continue Reading →

My thoughts… Mental Health…

Does prison fail inmates with mental illness?   Mentally ill inmates now comprise a substantial portion of the prison population and pose administrative and therapeutic challenges to prison administrators and mental health professionals. Depending on what reports you read, anything up to 90% of prisoners are said to have mental health problems of some description.... Continue Reading →

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