Inmates at Liverpool prison are being kept in the worst living conditions inspectors have ever seen, according to a report seen by BBC News. Rats and cockroaches were rife, with one area of the jail so dirty, infested and hazardous it could not be cleaned. Some prisoners live in cells that should be condemned, says the leaked document, with exposed electrical wiring and filthy, leaking lavatories. Prison inspectors made what they called an unannounced visit to HMP Liverpool in September, having been made aware of concerns. What they found, says the report, was an “abject failure… to offer a safe, decent and purposeful environment”.
The “highly experienced” inspection team said they “could not recall having seen worse living conditions than those at HMP Liverpool”.
Multiple failures include:
- many prisoners living in “squalid conditions”
- half were locked up during the working day, many for over 22 hours
- half said they had been victimised by staff, with over a third feeling unsafe
- a rise in incidents of self-harm
Highlighting one particular incident, the chief inspector, Peter Clarke, could not contain his exasperation.
“I found a prisoner who had complex mental health needs being held in a cell that had no furniture other than a bed,” he said.
“The windows of both the cell and the toilet recess were broken, the light fitting in his toilet was broken with wires exposed, the lavatory was filthy and appeared to be blocked, his sink was leaking and the cell was dark and damp.
“Extraordinarily, this man had apparently been held in this condition for some weeks.”
Read more: BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42310501