Category Archives: HM Prisons Inspectorate

HMP Lincoln – poor response to deaths in custody investigations, high levels of violence and self harm

Lincoln PrisonHMP Lincoln was struggling to hold prisoners safely and in decent conditions, but staff were working to address these challenges, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the local jail.

HMP Lincoln is a Victorian prison holding over 600 remand and sentenced adult and young adult men. It remained overcrowded, but while some progress had been maintained, deterioration was also evident. Like other local prisons, Lincoln faced increased levels of violence, often related to the prevalence of drugs and the difficulty of managing the problem with reduced staff numbers. In recent months it had received men from other prisons following concerted disorder at those establishments, adding to the already considerable number held there from outside Lincolnshire. The population was now more complex.
Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • men arriving from other prisons following disturbances had been sensibly managed;
  • violence reduction work, while rudimentary, was appropriate and developing;
  • the way the prison tackled new psychoactive substances was effective, particularly the good partnership working with local police;
  • relationships between prisoners and staff was a real strength and underpinned much that was good at the jail; and
  • good progress had been made after the new governor instituted a ‘back to basics’ approach, which aimed to ensure the prison was cleaner and more decent.

 

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • although good care was provided for the most vulnerable men in the population, in some cases the prison’s response to death in custody investigations, as well as its case management of prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm, was disappointing;
  • although support for newly arrived prisoners had improved overall, there remained significant delays in reception, which potentially created risks for prisoners on their first night, a concern identified in death in custody reports;
  • oversight of the use of force was seriously deficient;
  • equalities work had been neglected and was weak;
  • prisoners did not get enough time out of their cells;
  • the lack of a senior learning and skills manager for several months had led to the prison losing focus;
  • the prison did not do enough to improve prisoners’ basic skills; and
  • some innovative work to manage men through their sentences and prepare them for release was evident but it was poorly coordinated, which undermined its effectiveness.

Peter Clarke said:

“Lincoln demonstrated many of the problems associated with old and overcrowded Victorian prisons, struggling to cope with keeping people in a safe and decent environment, while delivering a regime and interventions that support their rehabilitation. It had, however, achieved some success in addressing these challenges, and the new governor and his management team had redoubled efforts to build on the institution’s strengths. The priority it was giving to trying to get the basics right while treating prisoners as individuals was to be commended.”

A copy of the full report, published on 20 June, can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons

Brixton Prison ‘Is Not Safe’ – the second report of unsafe London prisons in two days

HMP Brixton was not safe, and the work, training and education it provided for prisoners needed to improve, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the local London jail – it is the second report of unsafe London prisons in two days HMP Brixton is… Continue Reading

HMP Pentonville – Some Progress But Levels of Violence Too High

HMP Pentonville had made some progress but was still not safe enough, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an announced inspection of the local London jail. HMP Pentonville, an overcrowded Victorian prison serving courts in North London, holds over 1,200 adult and young adult men. The population is… Continue Reading

HMP Garth: Increase in violence at ‘unsafe’ jail, report says

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons published a report on HMP Garth in which he said…. HMP Garth near Leyland in Lancashire is a category B training prison holding over 800 adult male prisoners. Built nearly 30 years ago, Garth is a relatively modern institution but holds some very challenging and serious offenders. Nearly every prisoner… Continue Reading

Morton Hall IRC – Well Run But Some Concerns & Challenges

Morton Hall immigration removal centre was working well to prepare detainees for removal or release, but safety had declined, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the immigration removal centre (IRC) near Lincoln. Morton Hall had previously been a women’s prison until May 2011 when… Continue Reading

HMP Featherstone: Serious Decline

Standards have declined at HMP Featherstone, and the decline in safety was particularly concerning, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the training prison near Wolverhampton. HMP Featherstone holds around 650 men and was last inspected in 2013. At that time, inspectors reported generally positively… Continue Reading

HMP Wymott – A reasonably safe prison doing good rehabilitation work

HMP Wymott remained reasonably safe and was doing good work to rehabilitate prisoners and to reduce the risk of reoffending, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the training prison in Lancashire. HMP Wymott holds over 1,100 prisoners, approximately half of whom have been convicted… Continue Reading

HMP Exeter: A Prison In Decline Due To Staff Shortages

There were not enough staff at HMP Exeter and safety had declined, as had work to rehabilitate prisoners, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Current staff should, however, be praised for their efforts, he added. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the local prison in Devon. HMP Exeter held 490… Continue Reading

HMP Leyhill: A Safe & Decent Open Prison, But Prisoners Are Not Being Discharged By A Lack of Approved Premises

HMP Leyhill was a safe and decent prison which helped to prepare prisoners for release, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons – but where he also found untrained, unsupervised, prisoners were expected to mentor other prisoners, where there were problems with the release on temporary licence system (ROTL) and where a lack of approved… Continue Reading

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