POLITICS

Six Private Prisons Facts Chris Grayling Doesn't Want You To Know

02/01/2014 14:29 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 15:52 GMT
Anthony Devlin/PA Archive
Embargoed until 0001 Tuesday 30th April. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling during a visit to Pentonville Prison with Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright (not pictured) ahead of announcing the outcome of a review into prison perks.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling loves private-run prisons so much that he singled out HMP Oakwood as his favourite prison, but are they as good as ministers would want you to think?

Grayling's beloved HMP Oakwood was recently found by inspectors to be in urgent need of a rescue plan, with inexperienced prison staff so unwilling to keep inmates under control that it verged on collusion. Inspectors were told "on more than one occasion...that you can get drugs easier than soap."

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan promised to re-nationalise failing private prisons, saying: "It's clearly not working at Oakwood. As things stand, it's not delivering what the public should expect of the millions being paid to G4S to run it."

There are now 14 prisons in England and Wales operated under by private companies, which between them hold 13,500 prisoners or 15% of the UK's prison population. Experts praise private-run prisons for seeming to have lower reoffending rates than state-run institutions.

But HuffPostUK has rounded up six awkward facts you should know about why privatized prisons are not as fantastic as they may sound.

Private prisons: What you need to know