The second of three prison visits over two trips to Doncaster in a week. It’s right next door to Moorland, and on the site of (and using some of the old buildings from) a former RAF base: ‘Lindholme Gear’ – World War Two British air-dropped rescue equipment – was developed here.
It’s a very large site, with one of the longest perimeter fences on the estate, surrounded by lakes, fields, and a nature reserve.
Senior managers described a ‘family atmosphere’ (the camaraderie ‘is second to none’) with new staff ‘made very welcome’ and a ‘strong culture’ of mutual support. Management at all levels was ‘very’ visible – and the No. 1 empowered innovation among all. They valued quarterly ‘development & strategy’ days, POELTs having two dedicated mentors, volunteer ‘buddies’ and an extra shadowing week, and the onsite counsellor (part of an ‘excellent’ staff care team). They said staff recognition was ‘well developed’, and staff communication and consultation ‘excellent’ (e.g. regular full staff, weekly ‘breakfast with the Governor’, and monthly consultative meetings; monthly newsletter; and the No. 1 meeting all new staff and leavers). They rated the annual staff well-being day, twice-yearly staff ‘friends & family’ open days, and ‘fantastic’ gym facilities (with its staff giving up lunch to oversee staff circuits). Prisoner family work was ‘excellent’ (e.g. family days, homework clubs & Storybook Dads), as was education & training (inc. Level 3 NVQs & OU degrees).
The Officers agreed on ‘excellent’ staff, ‘really strong’ camaraderie and mutual support (and said detached staff did too), the approachable, visible Governor, and a ‘good culture’ of staff thanks & recognition. They liked ‘friends & families’ open days, felt management invested in staff development, and the ‘real commitment’ to prisoner support and rehabilitation. They praised education & training, the Recovery wing and the gym (for both staff and prisoners).
The prisoners called staff relations ‘very decent’ and felt ‘much safer now’, with photocopying mail helping reduce Spice and related violence. They praised education & training (‘fantastic’), rapid allocation to work & training, the Recovery wing, range of peer mentors (all completing an IAG NVQ), and family support from Pact.