Date of visit: 2 April 2019
Visit number: 95
Prison type: Category B Local
Prisoners said staff-prisoner relations were generally good, safety and cleanliness were improving, and A national scheme under which Prison Officers are given training and time to work one-to-one with around six prisoners, aimed at supporting their management and rehabilitation was ‘great’. They valued phones in cells and Touch-screen terminals, normally on the wings, which allow prisoners to deal with many ‘domestic’ issues, such as submitting “apps” and ordering “canteen”, and a wider range of TV channels than most jails. They highlighted visits (including evening visits and ‘fantastic’ family days), the gym (‘staff are excellent’), Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail, and KPMG-run ‘Restart’ business course, and said photocopying all mail had helped tackle Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances. They praised the ‘very good’ An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) as someone who was ‘visible’, ‘gets things done’, ‘is a straight talker’ and ‘follows through’.
The Officers agreed about staff-prisoner relations, safety and cleanliness, as well as the impact of phones and Kiosks, Keywork and photocopying the mail. They described the Governor as ‘inspirational’ and someone who was ‘first in and last out’, listened to and supported staff, gave praise where it’s due, and was very visible across the jail. They highly valued the No. 1’s full staff morning briefing (with tea & coffee!), commitment to ensuring infractions were punished and all assaults reported to police, and support for staff who had been assaulted, and said staff morale had improved significantly of late.
Managers too agreed with staff & prisoners about relationships, safety and cleanliness, phones and Kiosks, Keywork and photocopying the mail; they also shared their assessments of the No. 1 and agreed about the morning meeting (including tea & coffee) which ‘sets the tone for the day’. They said a 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” on each wing, and daily inspections by Senior Managers, also improved control, decency and staff morale. Prisoner engagement and consultation, including wing forums, a Prison Council, and a good range of peer mentors, were also highlighted, as was a multi-disciplinary individualised approach to managing vulnerable and challenging prisoners, and ‘mental health first aid’ training for all staff and relevant prisoner mentors. The staff recognition scheme was another positive.