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Improving behaviour in prisons: A thematic review

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Improving behaviour in prisons (PDF, 6.4 MB)

In this thematic report, we identify the features of eight prisons which were creating cultures that encouraged men and women to engage constructively with staff and make better use of their time in custody.

Prisons in England and Wales are almost full, with men and women serving increasingly long sentences often in overcrowded and squalid conditions. Reoffending rates remain high, and levels of assaults and self-harm are rising. Drugs too are an increasing problem in many jails, despite the use of technology designed to prevent their incursion.

We hope that our report inspires prison leaders to look for what is achievable within their own establishment. But there is no magic wand that can remove the pressure of rising populations, failing infrastructure and a dearth of experienced staff, and we have been calling for some time now for a serious conversation about who we send to prison, for how long and what we want to happen during their time in custody to reduce future victims of crime.