HMP Wandsworth is the most crowded prison in London and second worst in England and Wales according to the oldest penal reform charity in the UK.
The SW18 prison is the worst in London and trails only HMP Leeds nationally in terms of operating far above prisoner capacity, as shown by figures viewed today by SW Londoner.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform has called on the government to reconsider its current prison policy.
She said: “Ministers cannot build their way out of an overcrowding crisis.
“The solution that successive governments have ducked is to send fewer people to prison in the first place.”
The present recommended prisoner capacity for HMP Wandsworth is 943 but it currently holds 1,613 inmates meaning an operational capacity overload of 171%.
According to the latest Prison Reform Trust report the prison population in England and Wales has almost doubled in the last ten years to 84,485 recorded in 2014.
The report identifies an ageing population as a key factor for overcrowding.
It states that prisons are struggling to cope with the rapidly increasing numbers of old, sick and disabled people behind bars.
Another south west London prison experiencing severe overcrowding is Brixton, which is currently 259 prisoners over its recommended limit.
A study by the Howard League conducted in summer 2013 found that 25% of prisoners in the UK were living in overcrowded conditions.
Picture courtesy of diamond geezer, with thanks