Cumbria always feels like a long way from London, but then it’s always a beautiful journey, too. On my way up I passed Silverdale, which overlooks Morecambe Sands – my grandmother used to live here, and I enjoyed many happy times there as a small child.
Haverigg itself is quite a location. Built on an old RAF station in 1967 and modernised over the years, it lies just below the Lake District National Park, a mile from the coast – and right opposite the Isle of Man.
The prisoners called staff ‘great’, staff-prisoner relationships ‘very good’, and said they felt ‘safe’. They admired the Prisoner Council, and said the wing reps and monthly meeting with the No. 1 and other senior managers ‘really worked’. They called time out of cell ‘very good’, and praised family day visits as ‘fantastic’. They said the reception and induction of new prisoners was ‘excellent’. They also liked Learning Together, where prisoners study alongside local students, and called Kainos’s Challenge to Change 6-month programme (‘TC light’) ‘really good’.
The officers agreed staff-prisoner relationships were good, and thought the prison ‘generally safe’, and said staff took ‘a de-escalating role’ to potential conflict. They said staff supported each other very well (including SO and CM support for front line staff). New staff were described as ‘excellent’. They agreed with the prisoners’ high rating for visits, and called the prison’s weekly ‘Park Run’, with 30-40 prisoners, staff and outside runners, which Haverigg pioneered, ‘really good’.
Managers praised committed, ‘very caring’ staff, and ‘excellent’ staff-staff relations, reflected ‘in the way the regime kept going’ despite staff shortages. They rated staff development & training, including monthly training days. They said the ‘approachable’ No. 1 encouraged innovation and creativity. The ‘outstanding’ staff-prisoner relations ‘were often remarked upon’, including in inspection reports. They praised staff allotments and outside staff gym facilities. They also rated the Prisoner Council, farms & industries, vocational training, and a ‘fantastic’ library, (also used by staff), offering prisoners driving theory tests and, ‘uniquely’, a dedicated seg-section. They also liked Learning Together, Kainos & the Park Run.