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 No. 1 as ‘visible’, ‘open’ & ‘progressive’. They rated the Prison Council, with monthly SMT meetings (‘makes a difference’), as well as a range of peer mentors, including PID workers, Listeners and care & support workers (for older prisoners) on each houseblock. They noted good support for trans prisoners, including access to make-up etc through canteen, 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 ACCTs, 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 free flow while managers walked the route aided safety, and said having oranges & juice to administer for ‘Spice attacks’ reduced code blues. 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’.