This report finds just one in 10 safer custody departments in prisons answer phone calls from worried family members.

New research reveals that most prisons in England and Wales are failing in their duty to ensure that emergency phone lines are in place for families to share urgent concerns about self-harm and suicide risks of relatives in prison. This is in serious breach of government policy that families should be able to share concerns ‘without delay’.

At a time of unprecedented levels of self-harm in prisons, charities are calling on prisons to protect the lives of people in prison and address these critical failures. In 12 months to March 2019 there were 58,000 self-harm incidents in prisons – compared to 26,000 a decade earlier.

A joint report by the Prison Reform Trust, INQUEST and Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust), maps the provision of safer custody telephone lines across the prison estate - dedicated phone lines which enable family members and others to pass on urgent information when they have concerns.

It finds that provision is patchy, under-resourced and even non-existent in some prisons, leaving families struggling to share their concerns with prison staff.

Click 'read more' for the full story

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

Read more


A new report published today (8 August) by the Prison Reform Trust demonstrates the benefits when prisoners are consulted about how to address areas of concern in prisons.

Prisoners reforming prisons focuses on three important areas of prison life—safety, respectful relationships, and the responsible use of time in prison. The prisoners’ input, summarised in this report, suggests solutions to crucial areas in which prisons’ performance have recently shown a marked decline.

The report is the second in a series under the Prison Reform Trust’s active citizens programme. The findings are based on work between the Prison Reform Trust and individual prisons to establish active citizen panels—providing a structure to consult prisoners about an issue that concerns them in their prison.

Click 'read more' for the full story

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

Read more


As part of our continuing work to scrutinise the roll out of PAVA incapacitant spray to prisons across the adult male closed estate, the Prison Reform Trust submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking further information about the adequacy of safeguarding measures.

The response includes a copy of the readiness assessment, training plan and a copy of the Prison Group Director sign off for HMP Hindley—one of the first prisons to be approved for the roll out of PAVA following the initial pilot.

Read more


Prisoners reforming prisons

08/08/2019 00:01:00

This report is the second published as part of PRT’s active citizenship programme, and focuses on three important areas of prison life: safety, respectful relationships, and the responsible use of time in prison.

Click here to read a copy of the report

Read more


For the second report of the Prisoner Policy Network, we asked members 'What do you need to make the best use of your time in prison?'. Prisoners who responded to our call for evidence told us overwhelmingly that they need to feel a sense of hope for the future and to be given meaningful opportunities which allow them to develop and thrive, with prisons promoting personal growth as an end in itself, not just a means to reduced reoffending.

Read more