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HMP Bedford Urgent Notification

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Urgent Notification letter, issued on 15 November 2023.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Charlie Taylor said: “I have issued an Urgent Notification for the following reasons: levels of violence were very high particularly against staff which was the highest rate in any adult male prison in the country. Bedford had the third highest rate of recorded self-harm in the adult male estate. The use of force remained very high, and we saw too many examples of excessive force as well as unprofessional behaviour connected to these incidents. Three-quarters of the prisoners lived in overcrowded conditions. Most spent more than 22 hours a day locked in their cells. The wings were dirty and there was a widespread infestation of rats and cockroaches. Some cells had broken windows and black mould on the walls. The segregation unit was squalid, staff were forced to use sandbags and wear wellington boots due to overflowing sewage pipes after heavy rain.” For the full list of reasons this urgent notification was invoked, see the letter attached above.

Inspection debriefing paper

Action plan

Read the Secretary of State’s response and initial action plan.

Inspection report

Report on the unannounced inspection of HMP Bedford by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (30 October – 9 November 2023).