Date of visit: 18 July 2018
Visit number: 30
Prison type: Category B Local
The prisoners thought staff-prisoner relations were generally good, with approachable senior managers and decent levels of consultation (including weekly wing reps meetings). They called the mental health team and its specialist unit ‘excellent’, and said the substance misuse services were ‘very good’, too. They were also positive about support for older prisoners. They valued the prison being ‘clean’ and the role of 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 in supporting peers. In-cell phones were ‘game changing’, and Touch-screen terminals, normally on the wings, which allow prisoners to deal with many ‘domestic’ issues, such as submitting “apps” and ordering “canteen” ‘a big help’, bringing benefits to both prisoners and staff.
The Officers, like the prisoners, said relationships between them were generally positive. They agreed with prisoners about the impact of phones in cells and Kiosks on the wings, which they felt had improved safety and relations with staff. They felt that their The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners, and especially their de-escalation skills, helped to maintain control within the jail. They also rated relations between staff and the support they provide to one another, adding that new staff were ‘made to feel very welcome’ and supported by their more experienced peers.
Senior managers thought staff-prisoner relations were good, and also highlighted mental health support, support for older prisoners, and the impact of in-cell phones and Kiosks. They added praise for the management of difficult prisoners, and said photocopying mail and a designated search team had ‘really helped’ to start to reduce Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances. They, too, were enthusiastic about the ‘really good’ PIDS workers and their role as wing reps and in supporting their peers, and noted that outside agencies came in to keep them up to date on housing, benefits and other issues. The new 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 scheme pilot was ‘working really well’, and they also praised the ‘Thank you pads’, used by staff and prisoners to thank staff for their good work.