Date of visit: 22 Feb 2018
Visit number: 8
Prison type: Category B Local
Staff rated relationships with prisoners as excellent and characterised by ‘mutual respect’. They highlighted the specialist family interventions unit and support for family ties, including family days, extended visit length, Charity supporting prisoners to record a bedtime story to send out to their children www.storybookdads.org.uk, and in-cell phones. They rated the education and training opportunities for prisoners, mental health provision and substance misuse services as positives. They also highlighted the specialist unit aimed at reintegrating prisoners on The lowest of three levels within the Prison Service’s Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme (see also “IEP”) IEP - Incentives and Earned Privileges – national scheme under which prisoners can earn additional privileges through good behaviour regime, and the on-wing Touch-screen terminal, normally on the wings, which allow prisoners to deal with many ‘domestic’ issues, such as submitting “apps” and ordering “canteen” system which benefited both prisoners and staff. They valued the weekly team meetings and monthly training afternoon for staff, and felt that a period of shadowing for new staff helped them settle in to their roles. They also appreciated the employee of the month staff recognition scheme.
The prisoners described the prison as ‘safe’ and praised staff-prisoner relationships. Like staff, they highly rated the family interventions unit and support for families. The prisoner-led radio station, which helped keep prisoners informed and entertained, was also praised, as were the ‘extensive’ peer support and mentoring programmes, and approach to prisoner consultation. They too highlighted the education and training opportunities in the prison and substance misuse services, as well as the mental health provision, including the use of birds of prey and dogs, and the specialist unit for prisoners on Basic.
Senior managers rated many of the same things as both frontline staff and prisoners, including: staff-prisoner relationships; prisoner engagement and consultation; education and training opportunities; the family interventions unit and support for families; substance misuse services; mental health provision; and the unit for those on Basic. They also highlighted safety, staff recognition, and staff training and development as positives.