Date of visit: 7 June 2018
Visit number: 18
Prison type: Category C
The Senior Management Team said staff-prisoner relations were ‘good’ and noted low staff sickness. They praised as ‘exceptional’ prisoner reps and consultation in much of the jail’s operations and management (including SMT & departmental meetings). They valued the Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail and the many mentors and reps, including Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis and ‘Lift’ mentors for Vulnerable prisoners – often used to refer to those convicted of sexual offences, and reps for violence reduction, veterans, diversity, older prisoners, mental health, induction & reception, and legal advice & support (helping with Release On Temporary Licence – the mechanism through which serving prisoners are allowed out of prison on a temporary basis, including for work, Home Detention Curfew – when prisoners are released in the final weeks of their sentence under curfew and wearing an electronic tag (to allow their location to be monitored), etc.) They noted high levels of activities and employment, including a supported living unit with prisoner carers trained to NVQ 3. They said violence levels were low, and pointed to their gang strategy, very low Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork – multi-disciplinary care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm, and all items being scanned with a Scanning equipment used to check parcels and mail for contraband, including drugs and all mail photocopied for Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances. They liked prisoners managing kit to cut costs, and also valued Touch-screen terminals, normally on the wings, which allow prisoners to deal with many ‘domestic’ issues, such as submitting “apps” and ordering “canteen” and in-cell phones.
Staff said the The term by which Governors are known in private sector prisons was ‘excellent’ – visible, approachable, ‘a listener’ – and someone who communicated, consulted, and let them innovate. They praised support and mentoring for all staff, and rated prisoner engagement and interventions (which they said helped staff). They said staff-prisoner relations were good, the jail ‘safe’, and self-harm levels low. They, too, rated the scanning and photocopying, as well as the Kiosks and in-cell phones. They added praise for prisoner-supported specialist units for The lowest of three levels within the Prison Service’s Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme (see also “IEP”) IEP - Incentives and Earned Privileges – national scheme under which prisoners can earn additional privileges through good behaviour and non-engaging prisoners and the drug recovery unit. They also highlighted family support including ‘excellent’ visit facilities, Kids’ and Homework Clubs, a Scout troop, family days and extended visits.
The prisoners called the jail ‘safe’, staff-prisoner relationships excellent, and the Director ‘extraordinary’. They praised prisoner engagement and consultation as well as peer and staff mentoring and support. They also rated the gang strategy, the legal advice & support reps, and the specialist units which were tailored to specific groups including lifers and long termers, prisoners on Basic, and non-engagers.