No Toilets in Nearly 7,000 Prison Cells in England and Wales, Minister Reveals

So, here’s the scoop. Turns out, almost 7,000 prison cells in England and Wales don’t have toilets. Yep, you read that right. And for some inmates, they’re given buckets as a backup plan if they can’t get out in time.

The Bucket Situation

At HMP Isle of Wight, which houses over 1,000 prisoners, nearly half of them don’t have their own toilet. Instead, they’re handed plastic buckets. Inspectors weren’t too happy about it, calling it “disrespectful.” Can you imagine using a bucket and then not having a way to clean up afterward?

Old Practice Still Going

This whole ‘slopping out’ thing, where prisoners use buckets instead of proper toilets, was supposed to end back in 1996. But surprise, surprise – it’s still happening in some places.

New Info from the Minister

Edward Agar, the new prisons minister, spilled the beans on the cell situation in response to a question from his Labour counterpart, Ruth Cadbury. According to him, nearly 7,000 cells in 50 prisons don’t have their own toilets.

Different Situations in Prisons

Okay, here’s the breakdown. Around 5,400 of these cells are in low-security prisons where inmates have access to shared facilities on the wing. But get this – in some higher-security prisons, around 1,500 cells require inmates to ring a bell to get access to a toilet.

Worst Offenders

The Isle of Wight prison tops the list with the most cells without toilets – a whopping 476. They’re found in a part of the prison built way back in the 1960s. Inspectors weren’t impressed, especially with the plastic bucket solution.

Coldingley and Long Lartin Troubles

HMP Coldingley and Long Lartin are in the same boat. They have hundreds of cells without proper toilets. At Coldingley, prisoners had to wait hours to use shared facilities. At Long Lartin, nearly half the population still used buckets instead of toilets.

Minister’s Take

Agar mentioned that most prisoners have 24/7 access to proper toilets, but in some prisons, it’s just not possible to fit them in every cell.

Overcrowding Issues

Here’s the bigger picture: the prisons are packed. There are nearly 88,000 people locked up prison cells in England and Wales, which is way more than the system can handle comfortably.

The Prison Service’s Side

The Prison Service chimed in, saying that they’re working on improving things. They’ve got renovation plans for cells and are building new, modern prisons. HMP Fosse Way is one of their new projects.

So, that’s the rundown. It’s a bit shocking to hear that so many cells lack proper toilets, especially in this day and age. But it seems like there’s some effort to fix things up.