Bure is on the site of a former Royal Air Force base, active in the war, and from which the legendary Sir Douglas Bader once flew – and it still uses some of its old buildings.
It’s light, open, and the impressive grounds are lovely (especially in the lovely summer sun) – and there’s a really positive feel about the place.
The prisoners praised a culture of mutual respect and trust across an establishment described as ‘safe’, rated relations with staff as ‘excellent’, and highly valued being referred to as ‘residents’. The gardens made a huge difference to everyone’s well-being, and education & training, the gym, and Chaplaincy were all singled out for praise. They highlighted the extensive range of peer support mentors and praised management’s commitment to prisoner consultation and communication, and to a rehabilitative culture. They liked the annual ‘well-being day’ for staff and prisoners, and ‘really great’ jobs fairs.
Staff concurred about Bure’s safety, the culture of ‘humanity and rehabilitation’, staff-prisoner relations, the environment, and the ‘great’ gym (especially ‘for older prisoners’). They highlighted care for prisoners with complex needs and dementia, including a specialist unit and trained peer mentors, and noted low levels of self-harm and drug use. They praised management support and communication with staff (including daily wing briefings), prized the use of self-rostering, and noted ‘excellent’ teamwork, high morale and low levels of sickness among staff.
Managers described Bure as ‘happy’ and ‘safe’, and highlighted its culture of humanity, decency and rehabilitation, and relations between prisoners and staff. They noted the central role of peer mentors and regular consultation and communication with both staff and prisoners They rated the management and care of prisoners with complex needs, and those with challenging behaviours, noted the commitment to helping IPP prisoners progress, and praised the range and quality of offending behaviour programmes. They too noted the gym, Chaplaincy and gardens as key positives. Staff retention, and extended mentoring & shadowing for new staff, were ‘very good’, as were well-being days and ‘celebration of success’ events run jointly by, and for, both prisoners and staff.