Wormwood Scrubs 2018/19 published

HMP Wormwood Scrubs: significant progress towards a more positive prison, but further work to do in some areas

In its annual report, the Wormwood Scrubs IMB notes that:

  • There have been significant improvements in basic decency and the physical state of the prison.
  • More work is taking place to monitor and understand equality issues.
  • The prison is making increased efforts to reduce the supply of drugs.


Wormwood Scrubs received a substantial increase in resources, both from Rory Stewart’s 10 Prisons Project and other Ministry of Justice schemes. This allowed for significant improvements targeted at the physical environment and decent living conditions. The IMB notes that investment has continued since its annual report was compiled.

However, work on reducing drugs and violence have had some impact but not to the extent hoped for. The IMB is also concerned that the key worker scheme (in which each prisoner has regular contact with a specific prison officer) is progressing very slowly.


IMB Wormwood Scrubs representative, Rob Foreman, said:

“The increased investment in the prison has allowed real progress to be made to the cleanliness and decency of prisoners’ living conditions. There have also been meaningful improvements in the way that prisoners are prepared for release, although more work is still needed.

Despite sustained efforts to combat drugs and violence, Wormwood Scrubs is not yet an environment where everyone can feel safe. As well as further improvements to security, the IMB hopes to see more progress in how bullying and other challenging behaviours are managed.”