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HMP Cardiff

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Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Cardiff by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (29 January – 5 February 2024)

Cardiff healthy prison scores

Bar chart showing HMP Cardiff's healthy prison outcomes in 2019 and 2024. Safety, respect and preparation for release remained the same at reasonably good and purposeful activity dropped from good to reasonably good.

What we found

Cardiff was very overcrowded, with nearly two-thirds of the population sharing cells designed for one, however, it was clean, settled and performing better than similar prisons against most safety outcomes. The governor and her senior team were visible and positive staff-prisoner relationships underpinned the respectful culture.

Despite this, illegal drugs were a problem with nearly half of prisoners saying it was easy to get hold of them and just under a quarter of prisoners tested positive for drugs in mandatory testing. The delivery of key work was weak but time out of cell was delivered more consistently than at comparable prisons.

Points to note: Ten prisoners had taken their lives since 2019, yet the implementation of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s recommendations following those deaths was poor. Oversight and planning of care for patients with long-term health conditions was weak and inconsistent.