On April, 1 Britain marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 25-day Strangeways prison riot in HM Prison, Manchester, attributed to chronically poor conditions in the facility.
"There are things that are better now than then but I fear we've allowed ourselves to go backwards and we're back where we were at the time of Strangeways," England's former senior judge Lord Woolf said as quoted by the BBC on Monday. The United Kingdom is again "heading for a crisis within prisons," he added.
Prisoners are currently kept in conditions that "should not be tolerated," and this requires a "thorough re-look," Lord Woolf said.
Poor prison conditions encourage prisoners to return to crime after their release, the former Lord chief justice stressed.
Earlier in March, a UK parliamentary report said that as of 2012-2014, the United Kingdom had one of the highest imprisonment levels in Europe, 149 per 100,000. According to the study, safety in UK prisons has deteriorated because of budget cuts and austerity reforms in the prison system.
Commenting on the findings, Prisons Minister Andrew Selous said that the government was taking steps to increase prisoner capacity and provide qualified correctional work.