Date of visit: 30 April 2019
Visit number: 102
Prison type: Category C
The prisoners said they felt safe in the prison, and that the Officers, and security, had a strong hold over the jail. A Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail met monthly with management, and there was a wide range of reps and mentors. Support from staff and Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis for those at risk of self-harm was seen as a particular strength. There were some good vocational courses, and the wide availability of single cells was appreciated.
The Officers said safety and staff-prisoner relations were ‘good’ – and A national scheme under which Prison Officers are given training and time to work one-to-one with around six prisoners, aimed at supporting their management and rehabilitation had had a significant impact here, while staff The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners and CCTV helped with safety, too. Substance misuse services were highlighted, along with joint staff-prisoner ‘celebration of success’ events, with nominations from both groups and to which families of both were invited. A flexible workforce and operational experience in Refers to the allocation of Officers to particular roles on a given shift were rated, as was an ‘excellent’ A group of staff providing support to other staff, including after incidents and prison-wide morning meetings, including thanks for jobs well done. Relations among staff were ‘great’ with plenty of socialising outside work. Year-long ‘buddying’, a full-time mentor and two-week induction for Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates were rated too.
Managers too rated safety, control and staff-prisoner relationships, with Keywork seen as central. They highlighted the management of challenging prisoners and those with complex needs, based on a strong multi-disciplinary, individualised approach, alongside ‘excellent’ support from Samaritans, who also offer support to staff, and Care UK. Substance misuse services, support for care leavers (with Barnardo’s), family visits, vocational training, and good Release On Temporary Licence – the mechanism through which serving prisoners are allowed out of prison on a temporary basis, including for work opportunities, with ‘excellent’ links with employers, were rated, as was the Prison Council, which met monthly with Senior Managers, and the ‘unique’ staff-prisoner celebration of success events mentioned by Officers. They also highlighted joint staff-prisoner sporting events & links with outside teams, and The highest 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 mentoring & support for POELTS.