Report slams Lincoln prison progress

A report following an unannounced inspection at the Lincoln prison slammed the facility for slow progress after a riot eight years ago.

In 2002 a serious riot caused long-term damage to the Victorian prison, and an inspection in 2008 found reasonable improvements made.

However, an unannounced short follow-up inspection carried out in May found the prison in “poor physical condition” among other concerns.

The report says the external environment was “dirty and littered” and cells contained a large amount of graffiti.

Also, two prisoners shared cells designed for one, some toilets were unscreened, and the segregation unit was “dirty and unbearably hot in summer”.

The report also said that prisoners at the Lincoln prison spend too little time out of their cell, despite the time increasing slightly.

The HM Inspectorate of Prisons also found the integrated drug treatment system (IDTS) team were under-resourced and under-supported.

The report also noted several improvements such as better measures for dealing with violence reduction, and rare bullying cases.

Staff-prisoner relationships “remained reasonably good”, and resettlement activities for prisoners were praised.

Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, acknowledged the challenges the Lincoln prison faces in the years to come:

“HMP Lincoln has had a troubled past, but by the time of its last inspection in 2008, the prison had returned to normality and was making progress although plenty of scope for improvement remained.

“This follow-up inspection shows that progress continues to be made – but too slowly,” Hardwick concluded.

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has acknowledged the progress made at HMP Lincoln since the last inspection, particularly in resettlement work which plays a key role in reducing re-offending and protecting the public.

“The Governor and his staff will continue to work hard to build on the progress made,” Spurr added.

Government figures show that jus under 70% of criminals who got sentences under 12 months at Lincoln prison are reconvicted.

Read the full report [PDF]