Date of visit: 24 September 2018
Visit number: 50
Prison type: Category C
Senior managers described a ‘family atmosphere’ (the camaraderie ‘is second to none’) with new staff ‘made very welcome’ and a ‘strong culture’ of mutual support. Management at all levels was ‘very’ visible – and the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) empowered innovation among all. They valued quarterly ‘development & strategy’ days, Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates having two dedicated mentors, volunteer ‘buddies’ and an extra shadowing week, and the onsite counsellor (part of an ‘excellent’ staff A group of staff providing support to other staff, including after incidents). They said staff recognition was ‘well developed’, and staff communication and consultation ‘excellent’ (e.g. regular full staff briefing, weekly ‘breakfast with the Governor’, and monthly consultative meetings; monthly newsletter; and the No. 1 meeting all new staff and leavers). They rated the annual staff well-being day, twice-yearly staff ‘friends & family’ open days, and ‘fantastic’ gym facilities (with its staff giving up lunch to oversee staff circuits). Prisoner family work was ‘excellent’ (e.g. family days, homework clubs & Charity supporting prisoners to record a bedtime story to send out to their children www.storybookdads.org.uk), as was education & training (including Level 3 NVQs & Open University degrees).
The Officers agreed on ‘excellent’ staff, ‘really strong’ camaraderie and mutual support (and said Refers to Officers seconded to other prisons to cover a shortfall in staff there staff did too), the approachable, visible Governor, and a ‘good culture’ of staff thanks and recognition. They liked ‘friends & families’ open days, felt management invested in staff development, and the ‘real commitment’ to prisoner support and rehabilitation. They praised education & training, the Recovery wing and the gym (for both staff and prisoners).
The prisoners called staff relations ‘very decent’ and felt ‘much safer now’, with photocopying mail helping reduce Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances and related violence. They praised education & training (‘fantastic’), rapid allocation to work & training, the Recovery wing, range of peer mentors (all completing an Information Advice and Guidance NVQ), and family support from Charity supporting prisoners and their families www.prisonadvice.org.uk.