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Remand prisoners are not being treated according with the prison rules says prisons boss

Date: (2 August 2012)    |    

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A report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in a report that prisoners on remand in England and Wales were being treated less well than convicted inmates and that improvements should be made to give a fair treatment to them while reducing costs.
Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in his report that the rule that remand prisoners should not be housed with convicted inmates was not being observed in practice.
Mr Hardwick said remand prisoners were often treated worse than other inmates, even though there was a long-standing principle that those on remand should have rights and entitlements not available to convicted prisoners.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said remand prisoners often got "less help" preparing for accommodation and jobs.
He said that remand prisoners who were yet to be found guilty simply did not get things like visits, letters and the ability to see their solicitor.
He attributed this to lack of knowledge of prison rules by the officers which were applicable to remand prisoners. And another reason was that the remand prisoners were being muddled up with the general population making it difficult for the prison officers to segregate them from the convicted prisoners even if they knew the rules.
Fair application of rules could only be possible if there was a much clearer way of knowing who were remand prisoners and convicted prisoners. It could happen if there was a separate wing for the remand prisoners he said.
Mr Hardwick said he believed the problem had simply "slipped off the agenda," and seemed as though people had actually "forgotten" remand prisoners were there at all.
Though some costs were involved, but fundamentally it was an organizational issue. Which could be sorted out by organizing the prison system differently so remand prisoners can be distinguished and so people know who they are and make sure they get what they are entitled to?
The report is based on inspection reports for 33 local prisons, fieldwork in five jails, and focus groups with remand prisoners and managers.
It found an "unresolved disjuncture" between prison rules and what happened in practice, warning that several rules have become outdated.
The prison service said it was addressing issues in the report.



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