Date of visit: 13 June 2018
Visit number: 22
Prison type: Category C
The senior managers thought staff-staff relations were ‘good’, and highlighted an ‘excellent’ staff A group of staff providing support to other staff, including after incidents, well-being days, Citizen’s Advice Bureau access, and the mess and staff room. They also rated a daily full staff briefing, lunchtime ‘staff walks’, BBQs and other (Governor-funded) events. They rated the awards & recognition scheme with nominations by prisoners and staff, said Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates retention was high and thought their pre-training visits helped. Staff-prisoner relations were ‘very informal’ and ‘positive’, and 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, elected by prisoners and staff, and wide range of peer support workers, including 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) and induction reps. Mental health and well-being support by and for prisoners were highlighted too. Charity supporting prisoners and their families www.spurgeons.org children’s charity and the monthly ‘family day’ were praised for strengthening family support. They said the prison was ‘safe’, with low violence and self-harm, and praised the dedicated officer working on Violence Reduction and self-harm.
The staff agreed staff-staff relations were good and called the Governor ‘visible’ and ‘supportive’. They rated regular departmental briefings, and welcomed the ‘excellent’ Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates who ‘picked up skills fast’, and thought extended post-training shadowing helped. They said The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners was ‘excellent’, with good de-escalation skills. Staff-prisoner relations were called ‘very humane’, and they also flagged up the Prisoner Council, and peer mentors, including PIDS and induction reps.
The prisoners praised staff-prisoner relations, and called management visible and approachable. They also praised the tailored education and training, Prisoner Council, PIDS, safer custody, peer mentors, and the prisoner-led and -designed induction. They ‘loved’ monthly family visits with ‘fantastic’ staff in civvies, and the ‘great’ gardens and grounds. Prison media TV with its information, mindfulness, and foreign language films, was also highly praised.