Overcrowding in prisons could lead to more young people dying in custody, a senior official has warned.
Neil Beales, head of safeguarding at Huntercombe Young Offender Institution in Oxfordshire, said he was very concerned that staff were unable to communicate properly with inmates because they did not have enough time.
Deployment of staff across wings in Huntercombe interfered with efforts to address offending behaviour, he told a conference organised by the Howard League for Penal Reform. Beales said: “The population overload is helping to destroy the very fabric of what should go on inside prisons.”
Helen Martin, an officer from Hounslow youth offending team in west London, said there were not enough staff at Huntercombe to let young offenders out of their cells for education.
The inquiry is due to report in February.