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I predict a riot: Britain’s prisons are failing and the government has no plan

Every available statistic shows a system that is inexorably lurching from chronic failure towards acute crisis

By Chris Tilbury   January 2018

Photo: ANDY AITCHISON

Words are no longer adequate to discuss the simmering conditions inside our prisons, so let’s try a few numbers. In 2010, 58 prisoners in England and Wales killed themselves. Last year, the number was 199—that’s an increase from about one suicide a week to approaching four. Suicide, of course, is only ever the tip of an iceberg of misery. In 2010, there were 26,979 recorded incidents of self-harm; last year there were over 40,000. And what about violence that turns outwards instead of in? In…

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