Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

'It took me nine days to get a mobile phone and three weeks to get a pillow'

Tyler Johnston, former HMP Bedford inmate. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A prisoner who was released from Bedford jail just a week ago says conditions inside are "a joke" and said Sunday's riot was "a long time coming".

Tyler Johnston was speaking outside HMP Bedford just hours after up to 200 inmates went on a rampage.

It took police six and a half hours to get the disturbance under the control - but Mr Johnstone said officials should have seen it coming.

"The conditions are a joke. There are cockroaches everywhere. It took me nine days to get a mobile phone and three weeks to get a pillow. It's joke conditions.

"The prisoners run the prison, the screws don't. You tell the screws you're coming out of your cell, you're coming out of your cell..

"It's a joke in there. The staff don't know what they are doing. They're under-staffed."

– Tyler Johnston, former HMP Bedford inmate.

The former inmate, who was jailed for drugs offences, said tensions between prisoners and officers had been building up for months.

"The staff, they make promises to the prisoners and they don't keep them. They lock them up. They cut their association time. They stop them seeing other prisoners, keep them locked up for days on end, and they expect people not to kick off. It's going to happen. They're going to kick off."

– Tyler Johnston, former prisoner.

More on this story