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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


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 2010,…

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