People held in segregation in prisons experience impoverished regimes with poor levels of purposeful activity. More than half suffer from three or more mental health problems, an in-depth research report published on 17 December by the Prison Reform Trust reveals. The report finds that segregation units and close supervision centres entail social isolation, inactivity, and increased control of prisoners – a combination proven to harm mental health and wellbeing.
An explosion in the use of indeterminate sentences and the increased use of long determinate sentences are key drivers behind the near doubling of prison numbers in the past two decades, says the Prison Reform Trust.
Ministry of Justice figures show a complex picture of a prison service making heroic strides in some areas while struggling to cope with the impact of rising prison numbers and cuts to prison staff and budgets.