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British prison (symbolic image)

Photo: Victoria Jones / dpa

Justice officials have seized more than 600 liters of illegally produced alcohol in a British prison - amid chaotic conditions. Chief Prison Inspector Charlie Taylor said he and his team were shocked by the conditions at Lowdham Grange prison near Nottingham, according to the PA news agency. Up to 900 men are imprisoned there, many of whom are convicted of serious crimes.

As a result of the seizures, more than 30 prisoners were charged with possession of unauthorized items. But no case was processed within the given deadline and therefore no proceedings took place, it said. The prison was originally operated by a private company on behalf of the government. After it was deemed unsafe, the state resumed direct responsibility.

More than a hundred terminations

So far, no action has been taken against inmates, the supervisory authority said. Violence, cases of self-harm and drug use still prevailed in the prison. An audit in January found that more than a hundred employees had quit their jobs in the past ten months, meaning the prison is now suffering from a severe shortage of staff.

British prisons have a bad reputation. The buildings, which often date back to Victorian times, are considered overcrowded. Violence, drugs and vermin are common problems.