Slopping out

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Slopping out is the emptying of buckets of human waste when the cells are unlocked in prisons in the morning. Inmates without a toilet in the cell have to use a bucket or chamber potwhile locked in during the night. The reasons that some cells do not have toilets is because they date from the Victorian era and were therefore never originally designed to have toilets. As a result, there is no space in which to put a toilet, together with the expense and difficulty of installing the necessary plumbing.

Slopping out was abolished in England and Wales by 1996, and was scheduled to be abolished in Scotland by 1999.[1][2] Due to budget restraints the abolishment was delayed, and by 2004 prisoners in five of Scotland's sixteen prisons still had to "slop out".[1] "Slopping out" ended in HM Young Offenders Institution Polmont in 2007, leaving HM Prison Peterhead as the last prison where prisoners do not have access to proper sanitation, as 300 prisoners are forced to use chemical toilets due to the difficulty of installing modern plumbing in the prison's granite structure.[3][4]

Slopping out is still common in prisons in the Republic of Ireland.[citation needed], however speaking at the launch of the Irish Human Rights Commission's Annual Report for 2009, the Green Junior Minister for Integration, Mary White said it was time to move on from the Victorian practice. A new prison being commissioned in North Dublin, which the first phase opens in 2014 will see the move towards the end of "Slopping Out".[5]


  1. ^ a b Shirley English (27 April 2004). "A daily ritual for one fifth of Scots inmates". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  2. ^ "Inmates lose 'slopping out' claim". BBC News Online. 12 August 2004. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
  3. ^ "Slopping out payments to be made". BBC. 15 September 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  4. ^ Lucy Adams (25 October 2007). "Slopping out cash that was diverted away from prisons". The Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  5. ^