Date of visit: 26 July 2018
Visit number: 36
Prison type: Category C
The prisoners highlighted the Prisoner Council, which met regularly with management, as ‘well respected’, and said it had a positive impact. They also rated the gym and its staff as ‘very good’. Visits were ‘good’ too, and family visits ‘great’. The ‘excellent’ PIPE and TC units were ‘very safe’, with ‘good regimes’ and ‘supportive staff’.
The Officers said a ‘passionate’ and ‘committed’ workforce did ‘excellent’ team work – and were very supportive of new recruits. They agreed with prisoners on both consultation and the PIPE & TC units, and additionally rated the range of prisoner reps and peer mentors. They praised the ‘Safer Living’ department, run by staff with help from prisoners, which supports and manages prisoners with complex needs. They also valued the 4-week ‘Robust Recovery’ programme aimed at (re-)integrating prolific Spice users and isolated prisoners into the regime. The ‘popular’ staff and prisoner Annual Sports Day was ‘really good’, and the ‘clean’, ‘decent’ environment and gardens were ‘great’ (‘good for all’).
The managers said the prison was ‘safer’, in terms of both violence and self-harm, than similar prisons, praised ‘teamwork’ and ‘strong partnerships’ across the jail, and said Keywork made ‘a big difference’ to both relationships with prisoners and safety. Selective photocopying of mail, substance misuse services, including the ‘Robust Recovery’ programme, with individual plans for problematic users, and regular multidisciplinary strategy meetings, had helped reduce drug problems. They rated education, work and vocational training as ‘very good’, and added praise for healthcare, along with the PIPE, TC, older prisoner, and complex needs units. Support for family relationships, including a dedicated family support worker and family visits, was also rated. And the staff mess, and ‘Compliment slips’ used by prisoners to thank staff, were positives too.