Local prisons are being critiqued by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons. In April, a surprise inspection of HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset revealed high levels of violence between inmates, increased assaults on staff, and easy accessibility to drugs among other things. Another HMIP report from September reveals how one in five inmates at HMP/YOI Portland have a drug habit that they did not have before they were incarcerated. Earlier reports of other Dorset prisons reveal how the HMP Dorchester was overcrowded until it shut down in 2013, and inmates at HMP The Verne were revealed to have bigger drug problems than comparable prisons and institutions.
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke had this to say about the inspection of HMP Guys Marsh:
“This inspection found failings in almost every area of the prison we looked at.”
The HMIP recently released a findings paper, focusing on the daily life in British prisons. The report called “Life in prison: Living Conditions” went hard in on the overcrowded local prisons of Britain, reporting that 48% of inmates felt they were held in overcrowded conditions. Inspector Peter Clarke has previously criticized Dorset prisons for being overcrowded, violent and unsafe, and claimed the report showed that “the worst conditions we see tend to be in what’s called the local prisons or training prisons”.