Date of visit: 23 May 2018
Visit number: 12
Prison type: Category B Local
The managers highlighted the daily Breakfast Club briefing for uniformed staff, and praised leadership and visible management, from the clearly well-regarded Governor down. They noted staff unity and support, and pointed to bonding days and mentoring for new staff, which they thought helped with very low levels of staff sickness and turnover. They highlighted a Prison Officer grades – Band 4 officers are also known as “supervisory Officers” Officer dedicated to cleanliness, decency and brightening the place up. They said staff-prisoner relations and general communications were good. They valued peer mentoring and reps, and praised in particular the role of the central 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) worker (described as a ‘human Kiosk’), paired with an admin officer, in processing all prisoner applications. They added that almost all prisoners were in work or training that offered good future employment opportunities. Staff were praised for their The skills required by a Prison Officer to perform their role, in particular regarding the management and care of prisoners, and their approach to, and relationships with, prisoners, leading to ‘very low’ levels of use of force.
The prisoners prized a ‘proper’ cooked breakfast, and also rated relations between prisoners and staff positively. A ‘visible’ An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) who ‘listens’ was ‘excellent’, and communication & consultation with prisoners, with wing reps meeting regularly with managers, were positives too, as was a violence reduction forum which included prisoner reps. The handling of applications, and family visits & support, were also rated.
The staff valued the daily Breakfast Club briefings for staff, and the cooked breakfasts for prisoners, and they liked their bonding and ‘away’ days. They called a new 4-day shift pattern ‘outstanding’. Praising senior management’s visibility, they said the Governor kept them well informed and gave regular, much appreciated, thanks for jobs well done. They said staff-prisoner relationships were ‘impressive’, and safety was generally good. They also appreciated the improved focus on cleanliness and decency.