Another really early start by my standards, up at 5 and out the house by 6, for another double-header, Wakefield first and then New Hall. I did my training at the old college on Love Lane back in the 90’s – and have fond memories of Segundos pizzeria, which is still there, and Casanova’s nightclub, where I once won a bottle of bubbly for my ‘time-warp’, which is sadly no more.
The prisoners described the jail as a ‘community’ which ‘inspires hope’, which was a safe and quiet (‘a real positive’), with good relationships with staff, attributed to caring staff, keywork and the use of first-names. They praised managers as visible, approachable and responsive. They noted a good range of programmes, and strong support and opportunities to progress. They valued single cells throughout, and the integrated regime (VPs & others). The largely peer-led induction, support for families (including family days run by Partners of Prisoners), lifer days, and activities for over-50’s (supported by Age UK), were highlighted, as was the wide range of peer mentors across the regime and strong prisoner consultation.
The Officers rated staff-prisoner relations ‘excellent’, and highlighted the impact of keywork on both. The integrated regime, and its consistency & predictability were considered positives, while having prisoners give out canteen saved staff time and showed trust in the men. Staff reported excellent relations among them; found the No. 1 visible, approachable and supportive; appreciated managers’ efforts to give thanks where they’re due; and valued the daily wing briefings, weekly newsletter and staff engagement committee. A pre-training induction week and 2 weeks shadowing for all POELTs was seen as best practice, and the annual staff BBQ and staff mess were also much appreciated.
Managers too described the jail as a community, with outstanding relationships between prisoners and staff, and strong rehab culture. They highlighted prisoner engagement across the regime, including in induction of new staff, and strong consultation with both prisoners and staff. The No. 1 was seen as inspiring, highly visible, approachable and supportive. They also rated, among others, the integrated regime, EE accredited CSC, end of life care and activities for over-50’s, as well as keywork, and monthly group supervision for all keyworkers.