Inspectors find safety a concern at overcrowded Lincoln Prison

Inspectors have described insufficient standards at HMP Lincoln following an unannounced inspection, citing problems with overcrowding, increased levels of violence, drug issues and reduced staffing.

The report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke, published on June 20, stated Lincoln prison was “struggling to cope with keeping people in a safe and decent environment,” but noted improvements had been made in some areas.

HMP Lincoln is a category B Victorian prison currently holding over 620 remand and sentenced men.

The prison was last inspected in Novemnet 2013.

The outcomes of each section of the report were:

  • Safety – Not sufficiently good
  • Respect – Reasonably good
  • Purposeful activity – Poor
  • Resettlement – Not sufficiently good

Under the safety element of the report, the chief inspector said: “Levels of violence were too high and some incidents were serious.

“There was a robust and developing focus on making the prison safer. Oversight of deaths in custody recommendations needed improvement.

“Levels of self-harm were high and some case work needed to be better, but care for the most vulnerable was generally good.”

Inspectors also noted that staffing shortages were affecting the day-to-day running of the prison and time spend out of cells was inadequate overall.

Main concerns and recommendations listed included deficiencies in the management and oversight of the use of force, work on equality and poor coordination of reintegration work.

The Chief inspector added however the prison had “achieved some success in addressing these challenges, and the new governor and his management team had redoubled efforts to build on the institution’s strengths.

“The priority it was giving to trying to get the basics right while treating prisoners as individuals was to be commended.”