Date of visit: 14 August 2018
Visit number: 39
Prison type: Category C
The prisoners said they felt ‘safe’ (more than they did in similar prisons) and thought staff relations were good. They liked the two-week, peer-led ‘new prisoner induction’, thought ‘peer buddies’ for prisoners with disabilities and social care needs ‘excellent’, and said integrating Vulnerable prisoners – often used to refer to those convicted of sexual offences into main location worked ‘very well’. They praised education & training (including Construction Skills Certification Scheme – for construction industry workers www.cscs.uk.com training) and the ‘brilliant’ prison choir project. They liked all day family visits, and single cells ‘make a big difference’.
The Officers called the jail ‘calm’, with a staff ‘family’ valued by managers and a ‘very’ visible and supportive An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) who ‘knows everyone’s names’ (and sends them all Christmas cards). They also liked Staff Recognition, a monthly training shutdown, wing staff rooms, gym use, an annual well-being day, outside family social events, and ‘family & friends’ open days. Team-based self-rostering was ‘brilliant’ (‘really helps family life’), and communications (including daily briefings and the No. 1’s blog) were ‘very good’. They rated the integrated regime, and agreed with prisoners on staff-prisoner relations, education, training, the CSCS course, and single cells.
The managers had fulsome praise for the ‘sense of identity’, ‘pride’ and ‘resilience’ of a staff group with a ‘team spirit second to none’, and for the Governor (who, with the Short for Deputy Governor, walks the prison weekly, and sees every part of it monthly). They also rated the Staff Recognition scheme, as well as well-being and training days, and the popular outreach activities for staff families and friends. They said staff retention was ‘very good’, and agreed with the others in rating the induction process, peer buddies, and education & training (with ‘98%’ attendance). They also rated the detailed care and management plans, with multi-disciplinary strategy review meetings, for very challenging prisoners.