The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report (pdf) on UK detention practice in April 2017.
The report reviewed the treatment of people in adult and youth prisons, police custody, and immigration detention; with a specific focus on in-patient adult psychiatry.
The Committee raises serious concerns over the lack of safety for inmates and staff in prisons in England. Causes include prison violence, poor regimes and chronic overcrowding. The report also examines the treatment afforded to patients in a number of psychiatric hospitals as well as immigration detention.
The report found that:
- Most people deprived of their liberty by the police were treated in
a correct manner.
- Over the last 25 years, the prison population has nearly doubled, and almost all adult prisons now operate at or near full operational capacity and well above their certified normal capacity
- On a few occasions, access to places of detention was delayed, and the CPT underlines that better coordination is needed to ensure that access to all establishments is rapid and information about the Committee’s mandate is disseminated more widely
- While the number of recorded violent incidents at all prisons visited was alarmingly high, the CPT believes that these figures under-record the actual number of incidents and consequently fail to afford a true picture of the severity of the situation
- At Yarl’s Wood IRC, The CPT is critical of women being brought to the Centre in the early hours of the morning and recommends that the relevant procedures be reviewed to avoid any arrivals between 11 pm and 7 am