Criticism of Gloucester prison's buildings has been mounting decades
INSPECTORS have long painted a grim picture of Gloucester Prison.
While the professionalism and care of staff there was praised, the living conditions have been found wanting for decades.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick's report in November said the accommodation was some of the worst in the country.
In March last year the prison's Independent Monitoring Board was unhappy at inmates eating meals too close to toilets and poor night-time sanitation arrangements. A year ago, Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Prisons said conditions had worsened since 2007 and it condemned the "degrading" physical environment with cells lacking toilets and others "dirty, run down and poorly ventilated".
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Only a year ago, it was revealed that the jail was one of just 10 where "slopping out" - using a bucket as a toilet - continues.
In 2009, the Independent Monitoring Board found that in a wing without in-cell toilets, there were delays of up to four hours at night in getting access to the toilet and "roughly half the prisoners resort to the use of a bucket or other container."
A damning report in 2002 by the inspectorate said the jail was "degrading, dirty, overcrowded and unacceptable" with not enough for prisoners to do. Although officers and prisoners "related well", it was on a superficial level and prisoners had low expectations.
In 1998, inspectors said it was inappropriate to incarcerate 52 inmates under 21 in an adult wing.