Strangeways Prison is currently closed as inmates have not been allowed to shower or exercise for several days.
The Manchester Evening News understands that the prisoners have been confined to their cells since Monday 6 June. Families have also been banned from visiting inmates at Cheetham Hill Category A prison until Friday June 10.
Relatives say they have been told by family members inside the prison that they have not been allowed out of their cells for any reason and are being brought food to their door.
READ MORE:Footage shows charity car stunt gone wrong and left hero’s driver with a broken back
A woman, whose 19-year-old son is currently being held in prison, said he told her the prisoner’s mental health was beginning to deteriorate and the atmosphere inside had become “very tense”.
Speaking to MEN, she said: “My son called me last night to say the prisoner’s mental health was deteriorating quite rapidly. They say they haven’t showered and are being handed over to them. one meal a day in their cell.
“He said they haven’t had any fresh air since last Wednesday. I know they’re all guilty of crimes, but they have human rights and it’s really not good for their mental health.
“Visits were suspended from Monday to Friday, apparently due to maintenance work, but my son and other prisoners said they had not seen any work happening at the prison.
“It’s been bad enough, but because of the public holidays, it will be about eight or nine days now without any visitors. He says prison guards have gone to search people’s cells.”
In a Facebook post, charity Partners of Prisoners (POPS) said: “POPS have recently been informed that HMP Manchester will be closed for social visits from June 6-10 for maintenance. If this affects you and you need help, please get in touch with the POPS team who will be happy to help you.”
Another woman, whose partner is also being held, said she was told the prisoners had been locked up for four days and also said they had been unable 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 prisoners banging on their doors.
Another man, whose friend is serving time in prison, said: “They got a letter last week saying the prison was going to be closed and it should be for a week, it might take longer. He has been behind his door for five days.
“The person I know said today it would be his sixth day without a shower. The prison guards bring meals to their cell and they don’t even let them out for dinner. He says it hurts his head. He said his head is starting to go.
“Surely they have basic human rights and should be able to take a shower. They weren’t even allowed 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 high security men’s prison and is run by Her Majesty’s Prison Service. It is still commonly referred to as Strangeways, which was its former official name.
A Department of Justice spokesman said: “An intelligence-led operation took place this week to crack down on illegal smuggling which puts prisoners and staff at risk. Visits have been temporarily suspended but are expected to resume this weekend. -end, while phone calls to family and friends have been available throughout.”
Keep up to date with the most important news from Greater Manchester with the free MEN email newsletter