Date of visit: 4 October 2018
Visit number: 52
Prison type: Category B Local
The prisoners described a ‘good jail’ and the ‘safest’ any of them had been to. They praised peers & mentors including peer-led induction, a ‘first timers’ support network, ‘very effective’ VR reps (who formally mediate), the PAL advice line, ‘excellent’ healthcare champions, and Listeners for those with self-harm & mental health issues. Phones and Kiosks were highly valued, food was ‘good’ and visits were ‘brilliant’ (including availability of hot food, family visits, and chance to play with their children in the open air). They also rated prisoner consultation, including regular meetings with wing and senior managers.
The Officers said prisoner relations were ‘good’ and ‘informal’ (with first names used). They praised communications & consultation, inc the ‘highly visible’ Director’s ‘open door policy’, consultation breakfasts with staff (in their birthday month) and regular full staff briefings. They valued a strong culture of giving credit where due, which ‘shows you’re appreciated’, including managers regularly thanking staff, ‘thank yous’ in the weekly newsletter, and more formal staff recognition (Employee/Team of the month, and certificates of achievement). They also rated twice-yearly staff parties, and annual family day when friends and family can tour the jail and see where they work.
The managers highlighted a safe prison and ‘a culture of respect’ towards prisoners. Induction, VR reps, healthcare champions, family support (including family reps on wings & Storybook Dads), and phones & kiosks, were all positives , as was the ‘excellent’ resettlement work by the CRC, the ‘fantastic’ Recycling Lives charity, and the highly praised TC. Managers also valued an ‘open’, visible and supportive No. 1, and the ‘can do attitude’, and strong camaraderie & teamwork, among staff. They also rated staff communications and consultation, staff recognition, family days and social events for staff, and ‘family friendly’ shift patterns.