‘Difficult’ prisoners at risk from transfer

Moving prisoners around the secure estate contributes to self-harm
and suicides in custody, Anne Owers warned this week.

The chief inspector of prisons said the lack of spare capacity in
prisons meant offenders, and particularly those aged 18 to 20, were
often moved between establishments, making it more difficult to
identify their vulnerabilities.

Giving evidence to the joint committee on human rights’ inquiry
into deaths in custody, Owers said prisons were often loathe to
move offenders who had engaged with offending behaviour programmes
or education, so vulnerable or “difficult prisoners” ended up being
transferred instead.

Those prisoners with untreatable personality disorders were often
on a “merry-go-round”, Owers added, moving between hospitals and

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