Date of visit: 5 March 2019
Visit number: 89
Prison type: Female
Managers said staff were ‘caring’ and reported good relationships with prisoners, and among staff of all disciplines. They said a high proportion of staff had completed trauma informed training and this had had a very positive impact on management of the women and relationships with them. They rated the Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail and the Mother & Baby unit was ‘fantastic’. They highlighted the ‘excellent’ care team, and support for staff after an incident, as well as monthly training days, regular full staff briefings, staff recognition, yoga & meditation for staff, six-monthly staff well-being days and twice-yearly staff-family events. The grounds, including trees, gardens and ducks, were a positive for all.
The Officers said relations with the women were good and valued the full integration of vulnerable prisoners across the establishment. They highlighted reception and induction, and the role of staff and peer mentors in caring for new prisoners, and the monthly family days (run by Charity supporting prisoners and their families www.partnersofprisoners.co.uk and Addiction treatment charity - www.phoenix-futures.org.uk) and twice-yearly lifer days. Recycling company providing employment and training for prisoners in custody and after release – they also help find housing for the homeless www.recyclinglives.com, who provide housing and employment on release, were ‘fantastic’, and the Charity running restaurants and training prisoners in hospitality and catering in a number of jails theclinkcharity.org restaurant, staffed by Release On Temporary Licence – the mechanism through which serving prisoners are allowed out of prison on a temporary basis, including for work women, and links with local employers, were highlighted too, as were the gym, and the PT qualification they offer, and the ‘excellent’ hair & beauty course. Staff, too, valued the grounds and gardens, and felt they had a positive impact on everyone.
The women valued the Accreditation by the Royal College of Psychiatry for places with “a positive and effective social environment”, “where healthy relationships are seen as the key to success” provided by a ‘semi-open’ regime, living in houses rather than wings, catering for themselves, and getting themselves to where they need to be. They too highlighted reception and induction, and the staff and peers working there, and valued the range of peer mentors generally, as well as the elected wing reps (who meet bi-monthly with Senior Management Team). And they also rated Recycling Lives, The Clink, and links with outside employers, and agreed about the positive impact of the grounds (including the ducks!).