16 May 2018

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, has today published an inspection report of HMP and YOI Nottingham. The inspection, which was announced in advance, was carried out between 8-11 January 2018. This report follows the first ‘Urgent Notification’ issued by the Chief Inspector in January 2018, which brought serious concerns about the prison directly to the attention of the Secretary of State. Within the report, the Chief Inspector notes that the levels of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm at the prison were both ‘tragic and appalling’.
The report also raises the following concerns:

  • Only two out of 13 recommendations made in 2016 in the area of safety had been fully achieved.
  • Levels of violence remained very high and not enough had been done to address the causes.
  • The use of force against prisoners had increased considerably.
  • There had been eight self-inflicted deaths in the previous two years, which had drawn significant external criticisms of the care provided to some of these prisoners.
  • Repeated criticisms related to these deaths made by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) had not been adequately addressed.

In a damning observation, the Chief Inspector said The record of failure, as set out in this report, cannot be allowed to continue. For too long prisoners have been held in a dangerous, disrespectful, drug-ridden jail. My fear, which may prove to be unfounded, is that some could face it no longer and took their own lives’.
Deborah Coles, Executive Director of INQUEST said: “The fact that this is the third consecutive report to be raising serious safety concerns begs questions about the accountability of the prison service, ministers and government. If this was any other institutional setting it would be closed down.
Warnings from coroners, inspection and monitoring bodies about the lamentable failings in care have been systematically ignored. Far too many recommendations from the previous Inspectorate report have still not been implemented, which for a prison in crisis is a disgrace. The cost paid by this inaction is a system that is breaking prisoners to the point where they are taking their own lives. This is a broken prison within a broken system. Deaths will continue until there is a drastic reduction in the use of prison.”


For further information please contact Sarah Uncles on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]  

The inspection report is available on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.

  • In January 2018, the Chief Inspector of Prisons issued the first ‘Urgent Notification’ to the Secretary of State demanding that he intervene on the ‘fundamentally unsafe’ Nottingham Prison.
  • There were a total of ten deaths in HMP Nottingham in the period from the previous inspection in February 2016 to January 2018. Of these deaths, eight were self-inflicted, one non self-inflicted and one awaiting classification. 
  • After the inspection period, in February 2018, there was a further self-inflicted death.
  • There were four self-inflicted deaths within a four-week period between September and October in 2017.