Support plea for vulnerable inmates

swansea-prison

Read Converse – the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales

Swansea prison needs to give more support to inmates at risk of suicide or self-harm, a new report has found.

An inspection has found there is a lack of self-harm monitoring training and prescriptions for substance abusers during the beginning of their stay.

The HM Chief Inspector of Prisons also said there were not enough activity places for prisoners and not all places and workshops available were being used.

Despite the shortcomings, officials said the Oystermouth Road facility had fared well since its last full inspection in 2010.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: “Swansea had made progress on safety although more work needed to be done to ensure prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm received the support they required.

“Resettlement work had, with some caveats, improved.

“Although not uncommon in a local prison, too many prisoners were unemployed and not purposefully engaged with activities. This was further compounded by restricted opportunities for time out of cell.”

Swansea Prison, which was built in 1845, houses up to 435 male prisoners. It has six wings – A to F – and holds both adults and young offenders who are either remanded or sentenced, with a maximum sentence of up to three years.

The latest inspection took place in December last year and was described by officials as an “unannounced follow-up visit”.

The report said two-thirds of staff still lacked refresher training in self-harm monitoring following three deaths in the past two years.

Inspectors found good staff-prisoner relations, the prison was clean and well-maintained and said the drug support unit was a positive initiative.

Michael Spurr is the chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service.

He said: “I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has recognised the progress being made at HMP Swansea.

“The governor and his staff are working to address areas for improvement identified in the report.”

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