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21 articles

Drugs and disorder: worrying times for prisons

Following a worrying inspection at Hindley, Charlie Taylor reflects on the causes and consequences of a resurgence in drugs in prisons.

Bringing closed worlds into the open

Sophie Riley, Head of Research, Data and Thematics at HMI Prisons, explains why we have worked with Royal Holloway to make 20 years of prisoner survey data available to other researchers.

Preparing prisoners for release

As more prisoners are being released from prison earlier in their sentences in order to free space in the crowded prison estate, Charlie Taylor reflects on ongoing challenges to preparing prisoners for release.

World Literacy Day – the central importance of reading in prisons

On World Literacy Day, Charlie Taylor reflects on the central importance of reading in prisons and why it cannot be neglected even in times of acute pressures on the service.

Why the prison population crisis is everyone’s concern

As prison population numbers continue to rise, Charlie Taylor considers the implications and warns there will be consequences for all of us.

Making our reports easier to read

Earlier this year, we began publishing easy read summaries of our reports on prison inspections. Tamsin Williamson, Communications and Publications Manager at HMI Prisons, led the project and explains here why this was so important to the organisation.

International Day of Parents: the vital importance of family relationships for those in prison

It is well known that prisoners who maintain contact with their families are significantly less likely to reoffend on their release. During the pandemic, work to support those ties faced new challenges. Following International Day of Parents, Martin Kettle considers some of the work by prisons to maintain the vital relationship between parents and children.

Using failure to drive transformational change

Following an inspection of a previously failing prison, Birmingham, Charlie Taylor considers how an impressive governor used an Urgent Notification as a catalyst to transform it.

International Day of Families: the importance of family for children in custody

On International Day of Families, Angus Jones, Team Leader for Children and Young People, reflects on the vital importance of families for children in custody.

Reading in prisons: challenges and opportunities

Last March, HMI Prisons and Ofsted published a report into the teaching of reading in prisons. Having previously been a teacher, I was concerned about the low levels of literacy I had seen in our prisons and our report confirmed some of my worst fears.