Date of visit: 21 November 2018
Visit number: 63
Prison type: Category C
Managers noted good staff-prisoner relations, including joint events like ‘quiz & curry’ nights. Safety and drugs were ‘improved’, with Keywork, a restorative approach to incidents, and trained staff & prisoner VR team major factors, alongside an Enabling Environment wing and ‘essentials’ shop (to reduce debt) on reception. They rated a wide range of mentors, elected Prisoner Council, and full-time ‘engagement lead’ manager. Education & training were ‘excellent’, including CSCS course, PT NVQ, and NVQs for mentors, job fairs and workshop contracts conditional on employing prisoners on release. They highlighted Way Out TV, family visits, and strong decency focus, aided by a full-time works party. The gym was a positive for prisoners and staff. Staff recognition, regular No. 1 led staff consultations, monthly training, annual staff-&-families BBQ and staff-family open days, were highlighted, as well as support for staff who’ve been assaulted.
The prisoners valued the Prisoner Council, which they felt was effective, and range of peer support mentors – highlighting in particular the Listeners, mental health and violence reduction reps, as well as ‘carers’ for sick and elderly prisoners. Support and events for minority groups, involving both prisoners and staff, were another positive, while induction was ‘excellent’, preparing people well and signposting them to training and work, and the CRC led resettlement work (including help with bank accounts, accommodation, CVs & interviews) was also praised.
The Officers praised staff morale and relations between staff, and said Spice and safety were ‘much improved’. The new staff were welcomed, and they praised a ‘brilliant’ full-time POELT mentor and extended shadowing and support. They enjoyed the staff BBQ, open days, and ‘free’ Christmas dinner! The ‘enabling environment’ wing was ‘fantastic’, and they rated education & training too.