Date of visit: 15 November 2018
Visit number: 62
Prison type: Category C
The Officers described a ‘safe’ prison and ‘reliable regime’ with good staff-prisoner relations and a committed, ‘can do’ workforce who share ‘good camaraderie’ and welcome new staff. They said the An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) inspired ‘continual improvement’ in all staff and led a ‘very’ visible and approachable Senior Management Team who were ‘good at thanks’ for jobs well done and ‘have our backs’ – and rated ‘excellent’ support from the No. 1 down for any staff who are assaulted. They valued regular training days and full staff briefings, and the staff mess. Time out of cell, and the workshops & vocational training, were positives for prisoners.
The prisoners agreed on the regime, time out of cell, workshops & vocational training, and that Governor-grades were visible and approachable. They praised ‘very good’ Officers ‘who really care’. They liked ‘busking prisoners’ on the route to work who ‘brighten the day’, and fundraising events with prisoners and staff. The gym was ‘great’ (access and facilities) and its staff ‘fantastic’. They rated the range of peer mentors and support workers, and regular ‘effective’ wing forum meetings with residential managers. They liked ‘mainly single cells’ throughout, wing cooking facilities, a good Process through which prisoners can purchase items such as toiletries, snacks and clothing from approved lists agreed by the prison list (‘better than most’), hot food and a varied menu for visits, regular family days, and Charity supporting prisoners to record a bedtime story to send out to their children www.storybookdads.org.uk. The drug recovery wing was ‘excellent’ and the library ‘very good’ including a peer-led book club for new readers and A structured approach used by trained prisoners to help other prisoners learn to read https://toe-by-toe.co.uk programme.
The senior managers described a ‘very tight’ workforce with a teamwork culture and good staff retention, good relations between staff and managers, and ‘excellent’ education (rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED). They highlighted the buskers and said ‘colour and artworks everywhere’ softened ‘the feel of the place’. They rated an annual prisoner-led decency audit (followed up monthly) and the prison football team in a local Sunday league (home games only!), as well as regular charity events.