Date of visit: 28 March 2019
Visit number: 94
Prison type: High Security Local
Prisoners felt staff were good at dealing with incidents and said they could keep safe if they stayed away from trouble. They noted recent improvements and praised the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) as ‘visible’, ‘open’ & ‘progressive’. They rated the Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail, with monthly Senior Management Team meetings (‘makes a difference’), as well as a range of peer mentors, including Prisoner Information Desk worker – peer worker giving prisoners information and support, often also supporting the application process (see under “Apps”) Apps - Apps is short for applications – the means by which prisoners can make requests (e.g. to see the doctor) workers, Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis and care & support workers (for older prisoners) on each houseblock. They noted good support for trans prisoners, including access to make-up etc through Process through which prisoners can purchase items such as toiletries, snacks and clothing from approved lists agreed by the prison, and valued curtains in every cell.
The Officers felt relations with prisoners were generally good, and said the jail was safe and controlled, highlighting a whole-prison approach to security, and the courage, skill and teamwork of staff (‘we’re a family’). They rated suicide & self-harm prevention, noting a low number of Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork – multi-disciplinary care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm, the commitment & care of staff, and multidisciplinary case management & support. Reception & induction were another positive, with good support from peer mentors. The No. 1 was ‘inspirational’, ‘visible’, ‘knows our names’, ‘supports us, listens & gives praise’, and ‘sends us all birthday & Xmas cards!’.
Managers agreed about safety, security and staff-prisoner relations, praised staff and teamwork across disciplines, and also rated suicide & self-harm prevention. They highlighted managing challenging prisoners and mental health support, too. Allowing prisoners razors only when shaving, and staging Officers at fixed points on When prisoners are unlocked to move en masse from one part of the prison to another while managers walked the route aided safety, and said having oranges & juice to administer for ‘Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances attacks’ reduced Health emergency requiring a prison to call out an ambulance. A full body scanner in reception, scanning all mail, random checks on staff, and support for staff under threat, had reduced smuggling. Staff recognition, ‘people committee’ consultation meetings, and well-being days were positives, and the Governor was ‘outstanding’.