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HMP Woodhill Urgent Notification

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Urgent Notification letter, issued on 30 August 2023

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Charlie Taylor said: "I have issued an Urgent Notification for the following reasons: Woodhill was unsafe. In our survey, for example, 71% of prisoners said they had felt unsafe at some point during their stay at the prison and almost half said they currently felt unsafe. We found at least 26 prisoners who were self-isolating in their cells in fear for their safety, and the prison had the highest rate of serious assaults against staff in England and Wales. Reported incidents of violence at the prison had risen sharply, with 298 incidents recorded in the 12 months leading up to this inspection… Leaders had yet to take effective action to make the prison safer.
The rate of reported self-harm was the highest in the adult male estate. In the last 12 months, there had been 829 incidents of self-harm involving 124 individuals – a significant increase since our previous inspection. Despite very great complexity and vulnerability amongst the population, the prison’s response to these alarming outcomes was inadequate. Illicit drug use was a serious problem. The rate of positive random mandatory tests (38%) was the sixth highest of all prisons.”
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 Woodhill by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (14–25 August 2023).