Date of visit: 18 December 2018
Visit number: 69
Prison type: Category C
The prisoners said the ‘very safe’ jail had a ‘real sense of community’, with ‘excellent staff’, respect between prisoners and staff fostered by joint sporting events, and ‘visible’ and responsive management. They said there were no illicit drugs (‘certainly no Spice’), rated the de-escalation skills of staff, and praised the role of the ‘excellent’ Security team in reducing drugs and violence. They valued the open regime and being unlocked all day (11.5 hrs), rated the range of reps and mentors, which met regularly with Senior Managers, and felt 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 ‘working well’ and helped relationships. They valued ‘excellent’ education & training (including a business start-up course) and a ‘very thorough’ induction.
Managers agreed about safety and ‘community spirit’. They noted low self-harm and no positive drug tests or illicit phones, attributed to staff who ‘genuinely care’, the ‘awesome’ safer custody team and Security, and the impact of Keywork. They highlighted prisoner engagement and consultation, the open regime, education & training, joint sporting activities, and links with social services for older prisoners. They praised a ‘highly visible’, ‘positive No. 1’, (described by one as the ‘best I’ve worked with’), and noted a ‘tough and demanding’ but ‘fair and inspiring’ management approach, with credit given where it’s due and good staff consultation & communication, including through the staff recognition scheme, monthly newsletters, and breakfasts with the No.1. The annual staff sports day, as well as the gardens, greenery & cleanliness, were positives too.
The Officers agreed about safety, relationships and drugs, and the role of officers and colleagues. They too rated Keywork, and valued Five Minute Intervention training – training preparing prison staff to turn everyday conversations into opportunities for rehabilitation for staff. They also praised the No. 1’s leadership, liked the breakfast meetings, and valued daily full staff meetings, a monthly training shutdown, and bimonthly governor briefings. The open regime, joint events with prisoners, and the physical environment for positives for staff too.