Jail barricades, netting climbers and roof top stand offs – prison protests reach record levels

Prisoner protests have hit record levels at Holme House jail with barricades built no fewer than 11 times last year.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show the number of incidents at the Stockton prison where one or more offenders prevented access to all or part of the site by using physical barriers rose from four instances in 2016/17 to 11 times in 2017/18 – the highest number in a year since records began.

“Incidents at height”, such as prisoners on the netting, climbing over bars or onto the roof, were also at record levels, with 134 in 2017/18 – up from 35 in 2016/17.

And this number has increased 17-fold when compared to the eight incidents in 2012/13 when the existing recording method was introduced.

In response to the figures, a spokeswoman from the prison service said it would not tolerate indiscipline and anyone caught breaking the rules would face extra time behind bars

She added: “Drugs can drive bad behaviour in prison, and Holme House is being given £9m as well as extra support and technology to help stop drugs getting in and being consumed.

“The project’s emphasis on tackling addiction will reduce violence and help prisoners lead more productive lives both before and after release.”