Date of visit: 19 March 2019
Visit number: 92
Prison type: Female
The Officers felt staff cared about the women, and relations with them were good. They felt the jail was safe, and highlighted a multidisciplinary approach to managing challenging women, and the role of the safer custody team. They rated a reliable and relatively open regime, and highlighted prisoner consultation, including thematic focus groups and monthly Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail meetings with the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails), as well as regular family days, with visits staff in ‘civvies’. The ‘lovely’ grounds, including flower beds, open space and a duck pond, were seen as positives for all. They also rated relations among staff, and valued the visibility of managers, including a No. 1 ‘who knows everyone’; monthly staff meetings and training shutdowns; regular staff consultation; ‘excellent’ care team; and support from the Governor down for staff after an assault.
The women agreed staff cared and relations with them were good. They too felt the prison was safe, and rated the ‘semi-open’ regime and responsibility and freedom that afforded. Visits, including family days and adults only visits, ‘more relaxed than elsewhere’, were highlighted. They also valued a wide-range of peer supporters, including reception/induction 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) workers, as well as the Prison Council and thematic focus groups, and opportunities for personal development, including Therapeutic Community – a specialist unit for prisoners with personality disorders run along therapeutic lines and Personality Disorder units, drug services, Restorative Justice – often used to refer to the use of restorative practices to resolve conflict in prisons https://restorativejustice.org.uk programme and peer-led trauma course.
Managers too rated safety and relationships, highlighted care of challenging women and those in crisis, and valued the grounds. They noted many of the same development opportunities as the women, as well as the Psychologically Informed Planned Environment – a specialist unit run by psychologically trained staff and supervised by psychologists, to support prisoners’ rehabilitation unit, education & training, and events showcasing opportunities to the women. Help with disclosure letters and CVs, and links with employers, were rated too, and the Chaplaincy were ‘fantastic’. They also highlighted staff support, training, consultation & communication, and annual fun day & Xmas dinner.