Date of visit: 29 August 2018
Visit number: 44
Prison type: Category C
The managers praised relations in the prison, with ‘can do’ staff committed to making a difference, and a culture of ‘thank you’s by managers to staff. In-cell phones and tablets (for Touch-screen terminal, normally on the wings, which allow prisoners to deal with many ‘domestic’ issues, such as submitting “apps” and ordering “canteen” services) made ‘a huge difference’. The catering team and education & training were both ‘excellent’. Vocational training covered ‘all the trades’ (including Construction Skills Certification Scheme – for construction industry workers www.cscs.uk.com training course). A course helping prisoners set up in business was praised, as was family support, visits, and the Personality Disorder & Psychologically Informed Planned Environment – a specialist unit run by psychologically trained staff and supervised by psychologists, to support prisoners’ rehabilitation units.
The Officers agreed prison relations were ‘very good’. Experienced staff were ‘very supportive’ of new Officers, and they rated Prison Officer Entry Level Training – generally used to describe Officers under training and recent graduates getting two weeks shadowing, extra training, two dedicated mentors, and drop-in meetings each lunchtime. They liked the full-time staff welfare Officers. In-cell phones and tablets were ‘terrific’ for all, and gave prisoners ‘more control and self-reliance’, supported family relationships, reduced conflict (no queues), and greatly reduced demands on staff. They praised the ‘great’ First Night Centre, separated off, with its induction mentors & Prisoners trained by Samaritans to provide a listening ear and support to prisoners in crisis, and emergency credit for prisoners to call home on arrival. Wayland’s on-wing (rather than prison-wide) prescribing was ‘much better’, and meant ‘far less’ bullying and ‘taxing’ problems. Security cameras ‘everywhere’, and all staff in body-cams, had ‘greatly’ reduced violence. They said Wayland was ‘very good’ at managing prisoners high on Synthetic psychoactive substance, originally marketed as a synthetic cannabis – often used as a generic term for all synthetic psychoactive substances. Education & training, including local employer links, were ‘excellent’.
The prisoners felt ‘calm’ and ‘safe’, and said staff did ‘their best’ to make ‘a real difference’ (in spite of the pressures). They agreed about in-cell phones & tablets, and praised visits, including weekly family visits and others lasting ‘the full two hours’. They rated the wide range of prisoner mentors and the Committee of prisoner representatives meeting with senior management to discuss issues relevant to the management and care of prisoners in the jail. They also liked the chance to progress with ‘excellent’ vocational training (including CSCS course).