THERE have been two deaths in court cells since the government started using them to temporarily house prisoners, a senior official from the prisons watchdog said last week.
Emma Bradley, deputy prisons and probation ombudsman, told an RCN prison nursing conference in London last week that no prisoners with drug and alcohol addictions were meant to be held in court cells.
‘And yet we know that it is happening,’ she told delegates. ‘We’ve had two deaths in court cells since we started holding people in court cells.’
The cells have been used as a temporary measure for housing prisoners since January because of overcrowding in custodial institutions.
Ms Bradley also warned that the number of deaths occurring in custodial settings looked set to increase this year if the use of cells continued at its current rate.