Date of visit: 12 June 2018
Visit number: 21
Prison type: Category B Local
The Governor highlighted excellent relations and mutual support among staff and a strong collective identity and sense of pride and history in Pentonville. He felt regular celebration events marking special days, like Christmas, Eid, ‘national’ days, and Pentonville’s 175th anniversary helped to foster this. The Governor praised the visibility of managers, especially on the centre at When prisoners are unlocked to move en masse from one part of the prison to another, which was appreciated by staff and improved safety, the staff mess (‘a real positive’), and open days for staff families, which helped to assuage anxiety about their loved ones’ safety. Other positives included a strong focus on ‘decency and cleanliness’, including a Governor-led weekly cleaning competition, and on respect between prisoners and staff. The Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail met regularly with managers and was effective, and 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) supported prisoners while helping to take pressure off staff.
The staff expressed pride in the prison and agreed that relations and mutual support between staff were a real strength. They also highlighted their The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners skills, which they said were often remarked upon by staff visiting on Refers to Officers seconded to other prisons to cover a shortfall in staff there and helped to maintain control in difficult situations. They said there was good visible management – ‘especially the Governor’ – and appreciated the presence of managers on the centre at ‘free flow’. The regular celebration days mentioned by the Governor were also valued.
The 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 and 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” again highlighted staff recognition and staff family open days. The managers also highlighted staff attitudes to prisoners and the broad range of prisoner mentors and their links to staff. They also noted an emphasis on safer custody, and said including engaging families in reviews had led to a reduction in self-harm and violence. They praised the Chaplaincy for being ‘at the heart of the prison’ and being particularly good with vulnerable prisoners. They also valued the strong collaborative relationships with police and other outside agencies.