Date of visit: 22 November 2018
Visit number: 64
Prison type: Category B Local
The prisoners thought staff good (‘some great’) and said peer mentors (including Information, Advice & Guidance workers) made ‘a real difference’. They praised the food (‘best I’ve come across’), the gym and its staff, the library (‘like a library on the out’), drug & alcohol services, and visits including hot food, family visits – and the Christmas party for kids.
The Officers highlighted staff camaraderie and Officers’ flexibility in supporting the regime. They valued ‘good detailing’, helped by the involvement of a former Officer. They, too, rated the food, and highly praised Organisation providing employment, education & training support www.reactiv8.org.uk training & employment support (including Construction Skills Certification Scheme – for construction industry workers www.cscs.uk.com training). The gym was ‘excellent’ and its staff ‘great’, and Christmas events, football tournaments, and staff well-being days were highlighted. They valued daily wing operational and monthly full staff meetings, staff recognition (Team and Employee of the Month) and a fortnightly training shutdown to develop new staff’s The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners.
The managers said staff-prisoner relations were better than most One of four levels of security for male prisoners – from Cat A (high security) to Cat D (the lowest level) and praised their ‘committed’ staff’s ‘resilience’, and the ‘incredible’ Custodial Manager – uniformed officers responsible for managing Band 3 and 4 staff (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” (‘central to everything’). They, too, rated staff recognition, training, the kitchen and the gym. They highlighted 2 full-time mentors giving extra training to Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates, an 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 fully staffed by non-operational staff (ensuring no cross-deployment), resettlement support from the Community Rehabilitation Company – providing probation services for low and medium risk offenders and partners, monthly wing forums (with prisoners and the The senior manager responsible for the wings / residential areas of a prison), and a ‘culture change’ forum with prisoner reps (which the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) chairs). Self-harm was noted as low due to staff-prisoner relations, outside agency support, prisoner counselling, and individual multi-disciplinary case management – which ‘also helps’ with challenging behaviours.