Date of visit: 20 December 2018
Visit number: 70
Prison type: Category B Local
The prisoners described a ‘safe jail’ with ‘very little’ Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances and other illicit drugs (attributed to the security team and small jail size), with decent staff-prisoner relations (‘staff really do try to help’). The governor grades and Custodial Manager – uniformed officers responsible for managing Band 3 and 4 staff (see also “Band 3 / Band 4”) Band 3 / Band 4 – Prison Officer grades – Band 3 is the main grade for Officers, Band 4 officers are also known as “supervisory Officers” were called ‘approachable and positive’. They rated visits here as ‘the best’, kept informal by staff and comfortable furniture (‘not like being in prison’) and with regular family visits. They praised the peer advisors (like Prisoner Information Desk worker – peer worker giving prisoners information and support, often also supporting the application process (see under “Apps”) Apps - Apps is short for applications – the means by which prisoners can make requests (e.g. to see the doctor) workers), diversity & equalities reps, Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis, and first night workers, as well as the decent education & training ‘for such a small prison’. They liked the music project (including guitars, lessons, and a recording studio), the ‘great’ gym (available every day) and its staff, as well as getting two hot meals per day (‘unusual nowadays’, and greatly appreciated).
The Senior Managers and CMs said the ‘safe’ jail had a strong ‘#TeamLeicester’ community feel among all disciplines and levels, very welcoming and friendly staff, ‘incredibly resilient and dedicated’ Officers, and good relations with prisoners. They rated the dedicated 10-bed Lambert unit for challenging prisoners, strong community links with ‘lots’ of prisoner support from outside agencies, and regular outside speakers. They valued the Governor’s weekly ‘Off the Cuff’ newsletter (‘informal’, widely read, including news & ‘thank you’s), and the staff recognition scheme, as well as monthly full staff meetings, regular staff well-being days and staff family open days, and the strong support (from the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) down) for all staff following an assault.
The Officers agreed about safety (‘safer than other’ One of four levels of security for male prisoners – from Cat A (high security) to Cat D (the lowest level)), the community-wide ‘#TeamLeicester’ feel, ‘excellent’ prisoner relations, education and training, music project, ‘Off the Cuff’, and support over assaults. A national scheme under which Prison Officers are given training and time to work one-to-one with around six prisoners, aimed at supporting their management and rehabilitation was new but ‘a big positive’. They praised ‘very good’ and ‘out and about’ management at all levels, ‘very good’ staff recognition, and full staff daily briefings and monthly meetings.