The HM Inspectorate of Prisons is the publicly funded organisation responsible for checking and monitoring how well, or badly, prisons and other similar institutions are performing. It is independent of the MoJ, and often very critical of the Prison Service, but it does provide a balanced view of conditions in prison and the treatment of prisoners as well as raising questions regarding future policy. It is not led by “party politics”. Each year the chief inspector produces an annual report; a lengthy document summarising what progress or failings have occurred over the previous 12 months, and setting out targets for the future. (click here for the report)
Every 2-3 years it visits all the prisons, the inspections are done by specialist teams and take 2-3 weeks. A report is then published on each prison and these individual reports can be found on the prisons home page ( go to a specific prison and you will find a tab called HMIP Report or Inspections).
In addition to these they publish special reports addressing areas of special interest, such as the recently published report on ROTLs