15 February 2015
Reblogged from: Birmingham Mail
Written by Nick McCarthy
Redditch jail comes in for heavy criticism following catalogue of catastrophe
Campaigners have branded a crisis-hit Midland prison as one of the worst in Britain.
HMP Hewell, on the outskirts of Redditch, has been hit by rocketing death rates and chronic overcrowding.
It is the prison where evil Leo Barnes managed to hang himself last month – in the middle of his trial for the murder of helpless pensioners Cynthia Beamond and Philip Silverstone.
But that was just one of a catalogue of problems at Hewell since it was officially opened on June 25, 2008.
There have been suicides, blunders, escapes – and even a MURDER.
In fact, the Howard League for Penal Reform has recorded one murder and four suicides at Hewell in the last 12 months alone.
And the charity has revealed that Hewell was running at more than 25 per cent above its capacity in November – the same month a scathing report was published following by HM Inspector of Prisons.
The report found that the use of force at the prison was increasing, 40 per cent of cells were overcrowded, and almost one in five prisoners had developed a drug problem whilst behind bars.