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Only 25% of prisoners in Aylesbury able to shower everyday

The Howard League for Penal Reform think it comes down to staffing issues and overcrowding

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:45am 27th November 2018. (Updated at 1:05pm 27th November 2018) 3-minute read.

Only 25% of prisoners in Aylesbury able to shower everyday

New figures reveal only 25% of prisoners in Aylesbury's Young Offenders Institute are able to shower every day.

Many prisoners in England and Wales say they are unable to shower every day, with some children in custody getting only two showers a week, the Howard League for Penal Reform has found.

Survey results from official inspections reveal that, in some of the most troubled jails, less than half of prisoners said that they were able to shower daily.

The figures highlight poor hygiene in a failing prison system that remains beleaguered by problems caused by chronic overcrowding and staffing shortages.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

"The government has said that it wants prisons to be clean and decent, but is ignoring the fact that thousands of children and adult men are smelly and dirty because they cannot get a shower. It's no good cleaning up prisons if prisoners are not able to keep clean.

"If we want people to be work ready, and ready to reintegrate to lead a good and useful life, people in prison must be at least able to have a shower every morning, eat breakfast and face the day with purpose. Squalor and idleness will not ready people to be law-abiding citizens on release.

"Bold action is needed to reduce the number of people behind bars and ease pressure on a prison system that is failing everyone."

The Howard League analysed the results from prisoner surveys undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons during each prison's most recent inspection.

Prisons with alarming results include:

  • Belmarsh: 17%
  • Isis: 24%
  • Aylesbury 25%
  • Swinfen Hall: 27%

Through its legal work, the Howard League is aware that some children in custody are getting only two showers a week.

At least one prison has a policy stating that this is the "minimum expectation" for some of the children in its care.

The Howard League runs a free and confidential legal advice line for children and young people in custody.

A Prison Service Spokesperson has said:

“All prisoners have access to washing facilities every day, and the statistics demonstrate that the vast majority of prisoners have daily access to showers.

“We are committed to improving decency and living conditions across the estate, and the 3,500 additional prison officers we have recently recruited will improve regimes, including access to showers.”

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