Date of visit: 29 May 2018
Visit number: 14
Prison type: Category C
The An informal term referring to a prison’s Governor (or Director in private jails) praised the quality and commitment of staff proud of their role with young men on long sentences, and ability to keep vulnerable prisoners (Vulnerable prisoners – often used to refer to those convicted of sexual offences) on normal location. The jail’s wide range of programmes and interventions were highlighted, along with the Psychologically Informed Planned Environment – a specialist unit run by psychologically trained staff and supervised by psychologists, to support prisoners’ rehabilitation and Personality Disorder assessment units. There were good words, too, for family relationship support, including family days for lifers, family invites to post-programme reviews, and for the family liaison officer.
Prisoners valued the support provided for maintaining family relationships (as outlined above). They also highlighted support for care leavers, as well as the wide range of offending behaviour programmes (Offending Behaviour Programme – a structured programme aimed at reducing prisoners’ reoffending by addressing particular criminogenic needs), as other positives.
The staff valued management consultation, including a Governor’s Forum. They felt safety and security were strengths, with prisoners reporting drugs and illegal phones hard to get hold of, and ‘comparably low levels’ of Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances – they also noted their ability to maintain VPs on normal location. Management of Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork – multi-disciplinary care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm and support for those at risk of self-harm was another strength. They also rated an ‘excellent’ First Night Centre and induction, as well as the PIPE and PD units.
Managers felt staff-prisoner relationships were strong, and better than many other jails, and that violence and drug use were comparatively low. They said photocopying the mail and an effective security team had had a real impact on Spice. They, too, rated as positives the PIPE & PD units, VPs on normal location, family support, and OBPs – as well as education & training, including Railtrack and forklift truck courses. A large network of over 100 volunteers were seen as a real boon to all aspects of the jail. They also highlighted well-being days for both staff and prisoners, as well as regular ‘family days’ for staff.