Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a prisoner who was found stabbed to death in his cell at HMP Swaleside. Staff and paramedics treated the man, who was pronounced dead at around 7pm yesterday evening (25 March), according to the Ministry of Justice.
A murder investigation has now been launched and police confirmed the arrested men, aged 32 and 44, remain in police custody.
"There was a death on H wing, it is the wing with inmates with personality disorders and the like," a undisclosed source inside the prison said. "The death is been treated as murder and some staff didn't leave the site until after midnight last night."
Swale is a category B jail for inmates at the beginning of their life sentences.
Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at The Howard League for Penal Reform described the jail as a "very unsafe prison" following an incident in October 2014 when a prison officer had his face cut with a blade during a massive brawl.
A Kent Police spokesman said: "The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has launched a murder investigation after a man was pronounced dead in HMP Swaleside at around 7pm on Wednesday, 25 March. Two men, aged 32 and 44, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody."
The incident comes following a parliamentary committee report into the "crisis" state of UK prisons due to austerity cut backs. It highlighted safety within prisons had deteriorated which was of "grave concern" because of an increase in assaults against staff and prisoners as well as a notable hike in suicides.
Steve Dagworthy of Prison Consultants added: "We have long been saying that the cutbacks in the prison service will transform prisons into dangerous and inefficient places. Prisons tend to be warehouses for violent offenders and they need to be carefully managed, if not then I am afraid that an event such as this is inevitable.
Lord Woolf commented earlier this week that the prison system had regressed back to the days prior to the Strangeways riots. This news suggests that he was right."