Size matters in prison safety

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The bigger the prison, the less safe and respectful it is, according to new research published in the latest edition of Prison Service Journal.

The research, based on an assessment of reports from the Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, found that smaller prisons were seven times more likely to score ’good’ on safety, almost five times more likely to score ’good’ on respect, and over five times more likely to score ’good’ on purposeful activity.

The authors conclude:

We found that size, more than any other factor, still predicted prison performance and that larger prisons were assessed by HMI Prison inspectors as being less safe, less respectful and less able to engage prisoners in purposeful activity. Apart for this, open prisons were more likely to be assessed as performing well against safety measures.

Read 'Prison Building ‘Does Size matter? A Re-Assessment' and the other articles in the September edition of Prison Service Journal here.