Category Archives: HM Prisons Inspectorate

HMP Wymott – A reasonably safe prison doing good rehabilitation work

wymottHMP 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 of sex offences. Nearly all prisoners are now serving sentences of more than four years and up to life. Previous inspections have been positive. This more recent inspection concluded that Wymott remained a reasonably safe prison, although the summer months prior to this inspection saw a significant spike in violent incidents. The likely explanation for this concerned gang-related issues linked to the supply of new psychoactive substances. The prison had identified the key prisoners involved in the supply and use of these substances and had taken prompt and robust action to address it. Levels of violence had started to reduce towards the previous relatively low levels, but continued vigilance was needed.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • arrangements to keep vulnerable prisoners safe remained good;
  • staff-prisoner relationships were generally respectful;
  • prison managers focused on ensuring the prison was decent and on improving the environment;
  • learning and skills provision had improved further and outcomes were either good or outstanding in all the areas Ofsted inspected;
  • some excellent work was carried out to challenge offending behaviour and the psychologically informed planned environment unit for those with complex offending behaviour was a positive addition;
  • the substance misuse therapeutic community remained an excellent facility; and
  • despite some weaknesses in reintegration work for men being released from Wymott, the overall picture in resettlement was good.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • as a result of the spike in violence, some prisoners were isolating themselves on wings and managers needed to do more to improve their access to the daily routine;
  • the number of men with disabilities had increased and the ageing population included some with very limited mobility, but living accommodation for these men needed to be improved;
  • health care provision was weak and in some areas, potentially unsafe; and
  • staffing shortages had resulted in a restricted core day, and too many men were locked in their cells during the working day (15%), rather than participating in the good range of work, training and education offered.

Peter Clarke said:

“HMP Wymott was weathering similar pressures and challenges to other prisons, but was doing so with a proactive ‘can do’ approach, with an emphasis on finding solutions to problems and maintaining reasonably good outcomes for prisoners. This was underpinned by strong leadership that prioritised decency and provided men with opportunities to address their risks and work towards a successful rehabilitation. We commend the work being done and support the leadership team’s efforts to improve further.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, said:  “This is a positive report which recognises some really good work being undertaken at Wymott with a complex and challenging prisoner population.

“By providing a constructive regime which improves education levels and employment prospects, Wymott is helping prisoners turn their lives around, preventing victims and reducing crime.

“The Governor will use the recommendations in this report to achieve further improvements over the coming months.’

A copy of the full report, published on 14 February, can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons

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

HMP Hewell – Improvements But Serious Safety Concerns On Closed Site Say Inspectors

Safety needed to improve on the closed site of HMP Hewell but some notable progress had been made and the open site was generally good, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an announced inspection of the category B local prison and category D open prison in Worcestershire. HMP… Continue Reading

HMP/YOI THORN CROSS – A WELL-LED OPEN PRISON

HMP/YOI Thorn Cross was a safe and decent prison with good work, training and education provision for prisoners, and support to help them resettle back into communities, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Managers and staff were to be congratulated, he added. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the open… Continue Reading

HMP WHATTON – SOME EXCELLENT WORK WITH HIGH-RISK OFFENDERS

HMP Whatton had a clear sense of purpose and was doing some excellent work to reduce the risks posed by the prisoners it held, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the training prison in Nottinghamshire. HMP Whatton is a category C prison holding over… Continue Reading

East Sutton Park – An Excellent Women’s Prison

East Sutton Park was very good at helping to rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them for life back in the community, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the women’s open prison in Kent. East Sutton Park is one of only two dedicated women’s open prisons… Continue Reading

HMP & YOI CARDIFF – ‘A Mixed Picture’ Say Inspectors

Committed staff at HMP & YOI Cardiff had maintained stability in the prison during challenging times, but now needed to focus on longer-term improvement, said Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the category B local training prison. HMP & YOI Cardiff held around 770 men… Continue Reading

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