Lincoln prison branded ‘unsafe’ by inspectors

Gainsborough news
Gainsborough news

A DAMNING report of the quality of Lincoln Prison has been published just weeks after it was saved from closure.

HMP Lincoln had ‘deteriorated sharply’ since its last inspection in 2010 and its concerns need addressing urgently, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons after an unannounced inspection.

Inspectors even found a foreign national prisoner who had been held nine years beyond the end of his sentence.

At the end of last month, the 140-year-old prison was saved from being turned into an immigration removal centre and costing Lincolnshire 500 jobs. The campaign to save it was supported by Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh.

Now a report has stated that the prison was overcrowded, with about 50 per cent more prisoners than it was certified to hold.

A statement reads: “The environment was poor and although work was under way to replace those areas that caused most concern, this had not been completed. ”

It also found that there were prisoners who ‘were too frightened to leave their wings to go to work but who refused to name the perpetrator were punished by being sent to the segregation unit’.

The report also states that ‘care for prisoners at risk of suicide and self-harm was very mixed’ and that ‘prisoners said it was easy to get drugs and alcohol’.

Howard League for Penal Reform’s Director of Campaigns, Andrew Neilson, responded: “If you want an example of the terrible consequences of overcrowding in our prison system, you need look no further than Lincoln. “

“This cramped and dirty prison. Its shocking levels of violence and bullying are a symptom of this.”