Annual Report 2021-22

Date of publication
13 July 2022
Report type
Annual reports
England and Wales

Read the 2021-22 Annual Report (12 MB)

Read the large print version (12 MB)

Analysis of prisoner survey responses – Excel workbook (896 kB)

This Annual Report, from Chief Inspector Charlie Taylor, covers 63 inspection, scrutiny visit and thematic reports published between April 2021 and the end of March 2022. We continued our programme of scrutiny visits (SVs) – introduced in August 2020 to examine conditions for prisoners during the pandemic and consider how well establishments were recovering – until May 2021, when we were able to return to full inspections.

Mr Taylor outlines how long lock-up times and a lack of purposeful activity in prisons have barely changed and in some cases deteriorated since the Inspectorate’s first Annual Report in 1982. Other key findings are:

  • issues with staff recruitment and retention
  • concerns for the well-being of women
  • children let down by poor provision
  • haphazard arrangements for immigration detainees
  • a mixed picture in court custody.

Mr Taylor calls for a return to regimes at least as open as they were before the pandemic, saying:

“If prisons are to be an essential component of a successful justice system that is trusted by the public to keep them safe, the ambition must also be to go further, making sure that governors and education providers create opportunities for prisoners to develop vital skills that they can use when they return to the community. A new drive to increase release on temporary licence is essential, so that prisoners have the chance to experience a more normal working life that will help them to resettle successfully on release.”

Watch Charlie in conversation with Danny Shaw, former BBC Home Affairs correspondent, for the launch of the annual report 2021-22: