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Big spike in prison incidents of 'concerted indiscipline'

Trouble in English and Welsh jails reaches 'epidemic' proportions, campaign group finds

Prison incidents of “concerted indiscipline” have risen by more than 200 per cent in three years, a campaign group says.

The Howard League for Penal Reform said trouble in jails in England and Wales had reached “epidemic” proportions, with more than five incidents of rebellion being recorded each week.

Howard League chief executive Frances Crook said: “The Prime Minister has recognised that prisons are failing and that wholesale reform is needed. But simply trying to build a way out of the problem will not work and would mean years of disorder, violence and people dying while we wait for new prisons to be built.

“Evidence shows that building additional prisons only compounds overcrowding and its consequent problems as the courts send more people to prison every day.

“We cannot go on cramming more people into jails without any thought for the safety of staff, prisoners and the public.”

An incident is recorded as “concerted indiscipline” if it involves two or more prisoners acting together to defy a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. This includes major disturbances, such as riots.

The figures were given by the Prisons and Probation Minister, Andrew Selous, in response to a question asked by shadow justice minister Andy