The chief executive of a charity that has helped tens of thousands of inmates obtain an education has slammed the difficulty of gaining skills in prison as “unacceptable”.
Responding to an annual report on the state of English and Welsh prisons, Rod Clark of the Prisoners’ Education Trust said that in too many cases, prisons are “extraordinarily difficult places in which to learn and gain skills”.
HM chief inspector of prisoners Peter Clarke found in his report that purposeful activity in prisons, such as education or training, wasn’t judged to be good or even reasonably good around two thirds of the time.
Too much violence, drugs and inactivity in prisons but independent scrutiny having more impact – Chief Inspector of Prisons in 2018-19 report – read the @HMIPrisonsnews annual report – https://t.co/Pgyme0zU0p – and media release – https://t.co/mY7zpBqx7q
— HMI Prisons (@HMIPrisonsnews) July 9, 2019
It was also found that staff shortages and levels of violence meant people behind bars were unable to attend education or training and were locked in their cells for “inordinate” lengths of time without access to purposeful activities.
Rod Clark said that unless the burning issues were addressed, there is a danger that prisoner progress will “continue to be impeded”.