“Prisons are less safe and less decent than they were even a year ago when we published our last report.
“An incoming administration of government in May 2015 must not accept this deterioration in prison standards and conditions as the new normal.”
Although the prison population stands at around 84,500 in England and Wales – 20% higher than it was 12 years ago – the National Offender Management Service has had to make more than £700m in savings over the last three years and is expected to cut a further £149m in 2014-15.
The proportion of prisons whose performance is “of concern” or “of serious concern” according to the National Offender Management Service has risen from 13% in 2012-13, to 23% in 2013-14.
Prisons minister Andrew Selous, said: “We’re committed to providing suitable facilities and ensuring individual healthcare needs are met, as well as working alongside charities such as Age UK and Recoop to ensure older offenders are rehabilitated.
“From April 2015, local authorities (already hit hard by austerity budget cuts) will be responsible for care and support for prisoners meaning that, for the first time, we will have a social care service working alongside the healthcare already provided in prisons by the NHS.”
My question to you, the electorate is, could not the reduction in the required economic surplus(from 23 billion to 7 billion in 2019-20) have been used by George Osborne to improve this state of affairs?