South Yorkshire prisoners spent 14,000 extra days behind bars in one year

Doncaster prison
Doncaster prison

South Yorkshire prisoners spent an additional 3,889 days behind bars in South Yorkshire last year with extra time added onto their sentences for bad behaviour.

The year before prisoners spent at extra 7,926 days in custody, according to figures released by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which campaigns for a fewer people to be jailed.

The charity describes additional time in custody as a 'draconian punishment in a counter-productive attempt to regain control'.

It shows that nationally almost 290,000 additional days of imprisonment were handed down to prisoners during 2016 – a 75 per cent rise in two years.

In South Yorkshire there were 6,891 additional days added onto sentences at Doncaster prison last year, with 5,686 extra days added on to sentences at Lindholme, 1,051 at Moorland and 261 at Hatfield.

The year before 3,420 extra days were added onto sentences at Doncaster, 3,931 at Lindholme and 575 at Moorland.

The findings are published in Out of control: Punishment in prison, the latest in a series of Howard League reports examining how prisons respond to misbehaviour.

It reveals how disciplinary hearings, known as adjudications, are held for issues such as disobedience and disrespect, which are punished with additional days of imprisonment.

More serious offences, such as attacks, land prisoners back at court for their cases to be heard and extra jail time to be set.

The report calls on England and Wales to follow the example set by Scotland, where the use of additional days of imprisonment was scrapped 10 years ago.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Prisons are out of control. More people than ever before are losing their lives to suicide, and violence and self-injury are at record levels. The adjudications system has become a monster that is making these problems worse.

“It is surely time to follow the example set in Scotland, where scrapping additional days’ imprisonment has made prisons fairer and safer. There are more constructive ways to deal with misbehaviour than simply locking up people for longer, which puts even more pressure on the system.

“Bold but sensible action to reduce the prison population would save lives and prevent more people being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”