Date of visit: 9 April 2019
Visit number: 96
Prison type: High Security
The prisoners positively rated relations with staff, which were based on first-name terms, and particularly praised the Governor who, they said, ‘really cares’, was committed to developing the jail’s rehabilitative culture, and was ‘visible’, ‘approachable’, and ‘willing to listen to both prisoners and staff’. They rated 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 prisoner forums; education was also seen as a positive, with a wide range of courses, ‘excellent’ staff and new IT equipment; and the Chaplaincy were singled out too.
Managers agreed about staff-prisoner relations, and rated prisoner engagement and consultation too. They also noted good relations among staff praised for their enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude, described the prison as calm, and said ‘itemiser’ testing all mail, together with self-policing by prisoners, kept Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances levels low. Gym facilities, and equipment on the wings and in exercise yards, wing self-catering facilities, and two ‘pat’ dogs, were highlighted too. They said improvements to living conditions, including a ‘less institutional’ colour scheme, images on walls, curtains, fish tanks and planters, were well received by prisoners and staff, and improved prisoners’ behaviour and care for their surroundings. Staff recognition, including nominations from prisoners, a staff mess open at breakfast, and Refers to the allocation of Officers to particular roles on a given shift led by a Custodial Manager – uniformed officers responsible for managing Band 3 and 4 staff (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” were noted too, while appointing a full-time Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates mentor had aided retention.
The Officers said staff worked hard to build good relations with prisoners, and noted strong relations among staff too. Retaining a full-time POELT mentor was a positive, and CM-led detailing ensured a good mix of experience. The new An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) was ‘visible & approachable’, ‘listens’ and ‘wants to improve things’, and they valued a recent staff consultation forum and plans to launch a staff council. Well-being days run by the gym for staff and prisoners were rated too.