Date of visit: 11 October 2018
Visit number: 54
Prison type: Category B Local
The managers described Lincoln as a ‘safe and calm’ jail with – ‘for a core local’ – ‘excellent’ staff-prisoner relations and ‘high’ engagement. Managers were ‘high visibility’ (e.g. the Governor and Short for Deputy Governor ‘regularly’ walk the prison), and follow up all incidents ‘to support staff’ involved. Staff ‘want to be here’. They rated staff engagement reps, regular staff forums with managers, twice daily wing briefings (run by Supervisory Officers – 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 and ‘regularly’ attended by managers), and monthly full staff briefings. Staff ‘can and do’ bring family members in to see where they work. 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 had ‘made a huge difference’, as had a Scanning equipment used to check parcels and mail for contraband, including drugs scanner for drugs. They rated the range of peer mentors and support workers (e.g. wing reps and a monthly, minuted, Prisoner Forum with the Residential Governor). The internal phone system, letting prisoners contact Offender Management Unit – prison-based team responsible for helping to draw up and oversee a prisoner’s sentence plan, and linking with their probation officer outside, healthcare etc, and its peer-led advice line, was valued. There was also high praise for Spark Plus, a partner agency which gives all prisoners pre-reception briefings and psychological risk assessments at Court, and who also offer a ‘Departure Lounge’ service (e.g. so prisoners can charge mobiles, make calls, liaise with probation, and get transport to the rail station).
The Officers praised a ‘really improving’, ‘generally very safe’ jail (‘especially for a local’), ‘committed, dedicated staff’ ‘clearly in charge’, and ‘excellent’ team work and mutual staff support. They liked the Governor and Dep’s ‘strong support’ (including after incidents), and ‘very good’ prisoner relations (often noted by prisoners and visiting staff). A weekly multidisciplinary Safety, Order & Control meeting (with an intel focus and analysing all incidents) had had a ‘significant’ impact on safety and drug supply.
The prisoners felt ‘safe’, with ‘much lower’ levels of Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances since the Rapiscan. Recycling company providing employment and training for prisoners in custody and after release – they also help find housing for the homeless www.recyclinglives.com did ‘fantastic’ work on housing and jobs on release, and the wide range of peer mentors and supporters were ‘very good’.