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Many Prisons are at Breaking Point with Associated Problems


Prisons at breaking point, but Australia is still addicted to incarceration – The Guardian - Dec 2017

Australia's jail population hits record high after 20-year surge  – The Guardian 

Australia spending more on prisons, policing than other comparable countries: report – ABC News 

The expensive problem with our prisons: Why spending more doesn't make us feel safer – ABC News - Aug 2017

Inside one of Australia's oldest working prisons  – ABC News -  3 Feb 2017

Jails bursting with unsentenced prisoners as costs also soar - The Age -  23 April 2018

Back to prison  -  Background Briefing  18 May 2014   - Sunday 18 May 2014

The Booming Industry continued: Australian Prisons - A 2017 update  · January 2017

Prison guards hurt in ‘ugly, premeditated attack’ - Hobart Tas.  18 June 2018   -  The NewDaily

The Conversation published 14 articles in 17 days in 2015 on the State of Imprisonment in Australian states and territories

The Horror of Australia’s Prisons - Human Rights Watch -  February 6, 2018

Full House: The Growth of the Inmate Population in NSW’ - Overview of Inspector of Custodial Services Report - Aug 2015

Inside Australia's 'powder keg' private prison - ABC News -


England and Wales

Below are extracts from What is going wrong with the prison system?

         "Levels of violence are up, staff numbers are down and complaints about overcrowding are widespread. Why are prisons in England and Wales under pressure?

In 2015, in his last annual report as Chief Inspector of Prisons in England, Nick Hardwick said jails were in their worst state for a decade.

Last year, David Cameron, in one of his final domestic policy speeches as prime minister, said reoffending rates and levels of prison violence, drug-taking and self-harm "should shame us all".

"Even Liz Truss, who as justice secretary has overall responsibility for prisons, acknowledges that they're "not working" and are under "serious and sustained pressure".

There have always been problems. For many years, internal reports painted a picture of daily outbreaks of violence, cell fires and self-harm across the prisons estate.

As thousands of prison staff departed, a seemingly intractable drugs problem began to arrive in jails - "legal highs", also known as New Psychoactive Substances. Sold under names such as Spice and Black Mamba, by 2013 the synthetic cannabis compounds had become a major problem. In contrast, Scottish prisons have had no record of any seizures of the drug.

The health dangers, bizarre behaviour and violence associated with New Psychoactive Substances led to them being banned in the UK last year. In prisons, they have proved to be an unpredictable, and occasionally lethal, alternative to cannabis. Between June 2013 and April 2016, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman identified 64 deaths in jail where the prisoner was known or strongly suspected to have used or possessed New Psychoactive Substances before they died.

Despite the dangers, these synthetic drugs are popular because they are hard to detect using conventional drug testing methods and they provide a diversion to the boredom and frustration of prison life. The drugs are a source of income for criminal gangs whose illicit use of phones and drones, combined with the help of a number of corrupt staff, has helped the trade thrive behind bars."



Below is an extract from 'Conclusion: A system in crisis' of Crisis in Correctional Services:  Overcrowding and inmates with mental health problems in provincial correctional facilities - April 2015

"This overview of Canada’s correctional system leaves us with a disturbing picture. We have focused primarily on provincial correctional facilities, but indications are that the situation is just as bad in territorial centres.

Without a doubt, the majority of provincial correctional facilities in this country are either at capacity or overcrowded. We have seen reports of institutions operating at nearly 200 per cent capacity, twice as many inmates as the facility was built to hold.

However, as we have also seen, figures can be deceiving, and may seriously underestimate the situation. The stated capacity of some institutions has been altered to reflect the normalization of double-bunking, and renovations made to older facilities may have created more room, but not necessarily adequate facilities. The new capacity figures may also reflect the fact that cell sizes are smaller and common areas have been reduced.

With overcrowding there appears to be an increase in violence and serious incidents, from inmate-on-inmate violence to incidences between inmates and correctional officers. While most of the reports we have cited are careful not to proclaim a direct causal relationship between overcrowding and violence, they all see the two as having some connection."