Published on 23 November 2022

Government’s Chief Inspector shares reality of UK prisons at Ormiston Families Annual Lecture

The man in charge of inspecting the UK’s prisons delivered an eye-opening talk on their current state at Ormiston Families’ annual lecture.

Charlie Taylor, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, shared anecdotes and images from some of Britain’s prisons at a talk for Ormiston Families’ annual lecture at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge on Monday, November 21.

The talk shone a spotlight on the difficulties of providing rehabilitation programmes, and the severe impact of Covid, which saw prisoners in their cells for up to 23 and a half hours a day – a “trauma” for the service, according to Mr Taylor.

Forward thinking practices – such as inmates running their own woodwork shop at one prison – were shown alongside the stark reality of cells stripped of furniture and scrawled with graffiti.

A rapt audience were given a chance to ask questions following the talk, including the challenges facing probation services, mental health issues and funding.

Gavin Lamb, Senior Philanthropy Manager at Ormiston Families, spoke of his delight at the fascinating event’s success.

He said: “After Charlie’s talk, the questions kept coming, which I think reflects how much everyone engaged with Charlie’s stories and experiences.

“A huge thank you to Charlie for lending us his time and wisdom, and to the 13 individuals who pledged almost £2,000 in total towards our Breaking Barriers Christmas Campaign.”

The audience also heard from frontline practitioners in Ormiston Families’ Breaking Barriers service. The service supports children struggling to come to terms with the imprisonment of a loved one.

Ormiston Families hoping to raise £15,000 this Christmas to fund resources for these children, including a storybook explaining a young character’s experience visiting their Dad in prison.

You can find the link to Ormiston Families’ Big Give campaign page by clicking the link below.

From 29th November to 6th December, all donations to the campaign are doubled.