Just over half of inmates at Lincoln prison said they could shower daily after a survey looked into where prisoners can’t keep clean.
Many prisoners in England and Wales say they are unable to shower every day, with some children in custody getting only two showers a week according to the Howard League for Penal Reform.
The survey results from official inspections highlighted that in some of the most troubled jails less than half of prisoners said that they were able to shower daily.
The figures highlight poor hygiene in a failing prison system that remains beleaguered by problems caused by chronic overcrowding and staffing shortages.
The Howard League analysed the results from prisoner surveys undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons during each prison’s most recent inspection.
After an inspection in 2017 it was found that only 51% of respondents in Lincoln prison said that they could shower daily.
Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, 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.”