Annual Report 2022-23

Date of publication
05 July 2023
Report type
Annual reports
England and Wales

This Annual Report (8 MB), from Chief Inspector Charlie Taylor, covers 83 inspection reports, independent reviews of progress and thematic reports published between April 2022 and the end of March 2023.

Mr Taylor outlines how despite the lifting of the final pandemic restrictions in May 2022, many prisons are still failing to return to pre-pandemic regimes which support prisoners’ rehabilitation. Other key findings are:

  • there was too little time out of cell in most men’s prisons, many of which were overcrowded and in poor condition
  • there were poor or not sufficiently good purposeful activity outcomes in all but one prison inspected; this was particularly concerning in men’s category C prisons
  • not enough key work was being done with prisoners, largely due to staff shortages
  • the treatment of women in prison suffering from extreme mental health difficulties was not good enough
  • violence remained a significant issue in youth custody with the use of ‘keep aparts’ to manage high levels of conflict between groups
  • there were largely positive conditions in immigration removal centres, but serious underlying weaknesses at the Kent short-term holding facilities holding migrants
  • those held in court custody received reasonably good care.

Mr Taylor called for establishments to make sure that prisoners are given the help they need to move away from crime into more productive lives:

“Over the last year I have consistently raised concerns with governors, the prison service and ministers that prisoners who have not had sufficient opportunities to become involved with education, training or work, and have spent their sentences languishing in their cells, are more likely to reoffend when they come out. While I recognise the challenges in reopening regimes and am not encouraging practice that would increase the risk of violence for either prisoners or staff, I have become increasingly frustrated by prisons whose future plans are so vague that it is hard to see when progress is going to be made.”

He concluded:

In the next year I hope to see a significant improvement in the amount of time prisoners are spending in purposeful activity. The best governors have showed us what is possible; it is time for others to follow.”

Read the 2022-23 Annual Report (8 MB)

Read the large print version (2 MB)

Read the Easy Read summary (1 MB)

Analysis of survey responses

Men’s prisons – Excel workbook (526 kB)

Women’s prisons – Excel workbook (513 kB)

Children’s establishments – Excel workbook (105 kB)

Immigration removal centres – Excel workbook (160 kB)

Annual Report launch

Watch Chief Inspector Charlie Taylor discuss the key findings of his 2022-23 annual report with Danny Shaw, former BBC Home Affairs Editor and independent commentator on justice, prisons and immigration, at an online launch on 5 July, before taking questions from attendees.