- 11 updates
- Almost a fifth (17%) of defendants held on remand were acquitted, and nearly a quarter (24%) were handed a non-custodial sentence.
- Over two-fifths (42%) of remanded prisoners were released from jail immediately, either as a consequence of not being proceeded against, being acquitted, or receiving a non-custodial sentence.
- Almost a quarter (23%) of remand prisoners said they felt depressed or suicidal when they arrived at prison.
- More than a third said they had a drug (35%) or mental health problem (36%).
- Nearly half (47%) had problems obtaining bail information.
- More than half (58%) of unconvicted prisoners said they spent less than four hours out of their cell on a weekday.
- While most wanted to take part in work or education, a lack of places and the prioritisation of sentenced prisoners meant some were unable to do so.
- Remand prisoners showed little awareness of the support available.
- While almost two-fifths (39%) said they expected to have housing problems on release, only a fifth said they knew who to contact for help.
The Chief Inspector of Prisons has called for a 'comprehensive review of strategies and policies':
- He said the review should ensure the treatment and conditions for remand prisoners was 'consistent with their unconvicted and unsentenced status'.
- Their rights and entitlements should also be clarified and they should be held in cells, and on wings, separate from convicted prisoners, "except in exceptional circumstances".
- Remand prisoners should be offered "the same opportunity to work as sentenced prisoners", the report added.
- Women were over-represented and more reported housing problems, money worries and health concerns.
- One in seven (14%) said they had problems on arrival ensuring their children and dependants were looked after, the report said.
- The report was based on inspection reports for 33 local prisons, fieldwork in five jails and focus groups with remand prisoners and managers.
- It found an "unresolved disjuncture" between prison rules and what actually happened. Other rules have become outdated, it warned.
- While the Prison Rules 1999 set out legally binding entitlements for remand prisoners, Prison Service policy gave discretion to governors.
- Sharing mixed cells was "the norm", the inspectors found.