Date of visit: 25 July 2018
Visit number: 35
Prison type: Category B Local
The Short for Deputy Governor said ‘Proud Preston’ was ‘safe’ with ‘good’ staff-prisoner relations, 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 ‘made a big difference’ to relationships and safety. Prisoner consultation, including monthly rep meetings with functional heads, and quarterly meetings with the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails), was ‘extensive and important’. Staff consultation and communications were a strong focus too – including monthly ‘Governor and Dep’ forums and quarterly full staff meetings.
The Officers had ‘real pride’ in Preston and noted strong camaraderie among them. Relations with prisoners were good too. The prison was described as ‘safe’, with ‘good control and discipline’. They said photocopying all mail and restrictions on personal clothing kept drug levels (especially New Psychotic Substances like the synthetic cannabis ‘Spice’) low. The management of especially difficult or challenging prisoners, and support for those at risk of self-harm, were seen as real strengths, as was support for veterans.
The prisoners called Preston ‘very safe’ and ‘well run’. They noted ‘lots of very good’ staff who ‘are straight with you’. They said staff were ‘on top of things’ in an ‘Officer run jail’, with strong security and intelligence, while relations with staff were positive too. Keywork was ‘great’ (‘everyone thinks so’), and consultation was strong. The Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis 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) were ‘very good’ and ‘well used’, while the drug recovery unit (‘rare’ in One of four levels of security for male prisoners – from Cat A (high security) to Cat D (the lowest level) locals, they said) was a positive too.
The 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” agreed it was a ‘safe’ jail run by ‘firm but fair’ staff ‘who do care’, but were also ‘in charge’ and confident in use of force where required. Relations with prisoners were good, and Keywork had made a real difference. Pride in the jail was strong as were relations between staff, who ‘looked after each other’ and Refers to Officers seconded to other prisons to cover a shortfall in staff there staff ‘love it here’.