13 Apr 2024

Britain’s prisons have been ‘wrecked by ideological vandalism’, says former prison governor Ian Acheson

Social Affairs Editor and Presenter

The state of Britain’s prisons is under renewed scrutiny as report after report describes more and more jails as overcrowded, filthy places, rife with vermin and violence.

Our investigation into Wandsworth in south London revealed a sophisticated criminal network running a drugs economy inside the prison, turning prisoners into addicts with spiralling debts – their families threatened with violence to make them pay up.

With perhaps grimly perfect timing, a new book examines in brutal detail what has gone wrong in the country’s jails – and the price we will all pay if it isn’t fixed.

Professor Ian Acheson is a former prison officer and governor, and author of that book ‘Screwed – Britain’s Prison Crisis and How to Escape It’.