It is understood that HMP Manchester, still known by its former name Strangeways, has been locking prisoners in their cells since Monday, June 6. , reports Manchester Evening News.
Relatives say they have been informed by relatives in prison that they will not be allowed to leave their cells for whatever reason and that food will be delivered to their door.
The reason for the lockdown has not been formally confirmed. The MEN has approached the Ministry of Justice for comment.
A woman, whose 19-year-old son is currently an inmate in prison, said he told her the inmate’s mental health had started to deteriorate and the mood inside had become “very tense”.
She said: “My son called me last night to say that the prisoner’s mental health is deteriorating quite rapidly.
“They say they haven’t showered and they’re getting one meal a day in their cells.
“He said they haven’t had any fresh air since last Wednesday. I know they are all there for crimes, but they do have human rights and this is really not good for their mental health.
“Visits have apparently been suspended from Monday to Friday for maintenance, but my son and other inmates have said they have not seen any work happening in the prison.
“It’s bad enough, but because of the holiday it will now be about eight or nine days without visitors.
“He says prison guards have searched people’s cells.”
In a post on Facebook, the charity Partners of Prisoners (POPS) said: “POPS was recently informed that HMP Manchester will be closed for social visits from 6 – 10 June for maintenance reasons.
“If this touches you and you need support, please get in touch with the POPS team who will be happy to assist you.”
Another woman, whose partner is also an inmate, said she had been told inmates had been locked up for four days and also claimed they had not been able to shower or exercise.
She claims that when she called the prison she could hear alarms going off in the background and the sound of inmates kicking their doors.
Another man, whose boyfriend has been in jail for a while, said: “They got a letter last week to say the jail was going to be locked and it was expected to be a week, maybe longer. He’s already in jail.” five days behind his door .
“The person I know said today will be his sixth day without a shower. The prison guards bring meals to their cells and they won’t even let them eat out. He says it makes his head go inside.
“They certainly have basic human rights and should be able to shower. They aren’t even out to exercise. They have a cell phone system, so he was able to call me, but he can’t leave his cell.”
HM Prison Manchester is a maximum security male prison operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service. It is still often referred to as Strangeways, which was its former official name.