INQUEST has exposed the failure of the Ministry of Justice’s Ten Prisons Project, revealing that the number of deaths in the 10 prisons has increased by 20 percent, undermining government claims of the ‘success’ of the £10m project to reduce violence and improve safety in the prisons.

We told the Guardian:

The focus was reducing violence and criminality, with no consideration of the underlying issues which foster these behaviours in prison. This was a fundamentally flawed vanity project which resulted in an increased number of people dying. Ministers have been largely silent on this issue.

The relentless focus on the issues of violence and drugs may have brought some short-term relief. However, this focus has abjectly failed to guarantee the health and safety of prisoners. Punitive regimes do not foster safety. They intensify the problems inside, alienate prisoners and reproduce the conditions that generate self-harm and self-inflicted deaths. They are more, not less, dangerous. Harsh regimes are a complacent, simplistic response to a complex problem.

Read more: 

  • 'Rory Stewarts prison reforms cut drug use and assaults' The Times 
  • 'Drugs and violence drop during prisons pilot' Express and Star 

  • 'Violence is on the rise in toughest of prisons: attacks are up despite jail populations on the decline' London News Online

  • 'Violence and drug use fall in £10m jail pilot scheme' Metro

To see all INQUEST media coverage, visit the latest coverage page.