Date of visit: 4 March 2019
Visit number: 87
Prison type: Long Term Category B
Managers noted strong relationships between staff and prisoners, and among staff across disciplines, and praised the commitment and caring approach of staff. They felt 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; a multi-disciplinary, individualised approach to drug use, self-harm, complex needs & challenging behaviours; and the introduction of two supernumerary Supervisory Officers – 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 to support and advise staff; had had significant impacts. The Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail and wide range of Level 2 qualified peer mentors, including trained mediators, were highlighted, as were equalities, education, and specialist units, including the EE-accredited Personality Disorder unit, Drug Therapeutic Community – a specialist unit for prisoners with personality disorders run along therapeutic lines, ‘Building hope’ unit for long-tariff lifers, and residential support unit for more vulnerable prisoners. Staff support and recognition (twice yearly formal awards & ‘instant recognition’), weekly bulletin (including ‘thank you’s & staff news), ‘breakfast with the Governor’, staff-family events, and personalised Xmas cards from the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) were positives too.
The Officers highlighted good relationships between staff and prisoners, and among Officers across the establishment – they appreciated low levels of cross deployment of staff and felt that played a significant role in this. As with the managers, they saw education and the range of specialist units for prisoners as key positives. They also valued the staff mess, which was well used.
The prisoners highlighted the role of the Prison Council, which they felt was well supported and effective, and valued the wide range of peer mentors and the support they received, singling out 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 particular. They noted significant recent improvements in progression opportunities for prisoners, and in drug use, security and safety across the jail, and valued the introduction of enhanced cooking facilities on the wings – much of this was attributed to the Governor, who they felt provided strong leadership, was approachable and responsive, and was committed to promoting a strong rehabilitative culture.