'Troubling' Report Into West Midlands Jail

Inspectors have found 'high levels of violence' and 'overcrowding in cells' at HMP Hewell in the West Midlands.

The report looking into HMP Hewell in Redditch, Worcestershire, found prisoners felt unsafe and more victimised than other prisoners in jails across the country.

It also said levels of violence were 'significant' and arrangements to confront violence and investigate incidents were 'inadequate'.

Since the last inspection was carried out, six people have taken their own lives and one man was murdered in 2013.

Evidence also suggested 40% of cells were overcrowded, the provision of many basic services such as clothing and cleaning materials were all problematic and drug use was prevalent.  

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick says 'Hewell continues to face real difficulties. The prison was not doing the basics properly, as evidenced by poor access to amenities, a weak applications system and poor investigation of sometimes very serious complaints.'

However, the findings did reveal that prisoners who were at risk of self harm or suicide were being well cared for and that the relationship between prisoners and staff were positive.

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