HMP Send – A very effective women’s prison

Yes

HMP Send was a safe and decent prison which did excellent work to rehabilitate the women it held, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the women’s prison in Surrey.

HMP Send holds just over 280 convicted women prisoners, well over half of whom are serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious offences. Its last inspection was in 2011 and found a settled institution with an impressive regime for prisoners. This inspection found that improvement has continued and Send is now a very successful prison. It is one of the few prisons to achieve the highest grading for outcomes across all four healthy prison tests: safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement. An excellent range of interventions was offered to address offending behaviour, including a facility to address the needs of women with a personality disorder.

Inspectors were also pleased to find that:

  • Send was a very safe institution where violent incidents were very rare;
  • levels of self-harm continued to reduce and care for those who were vulnerable was good;
  • there was little evidence of significant illicit drug use;
  • women with alcohol issues received appropriate support;
  • living conditions and the environment were generally very good and relationships between staff and prisoners were particularly strong;
  • mental health provision was impressive;
  • prisoners had a good amount of time out of cell and reasonable access to the prison’s grounds;
  • learning and skills provision was well managed and there was sufficient education, training and work for all the women held; and
  • resettlement services were much better than inspectors usually see and offender management arrangements were good.

Inspectors felt that the promotion of equality and diversity required attention, although most outcomes were reasonable, and also thought support for women who had been victims of domestic violence should be improved. The incentives and earned privileges (IEP) arrangements supported the safety of the prison but some requirements, notably that the hoods be cut off women’s coats, were ridiculous.

Nick Hardwick said:

“We highlight a number of relatively minor concerns that will assist the prison, but overall this is an excellent report that describes the work of a very effective prison. Women, some of whom are dealing with long sentences and considerable personal challenges and risks, are kept safely and in a prison that affords them respect. They use their time usefully and their risks are addressed meaningfully. This is not only a good prison; it is a useful and effective prison. The governor and staff should be congratulated on their success.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 3 June 2014 at: http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons

HMP HAVERIGG – Some progress but safety needs to improve

haverigg

There was a real prospect of improvement at HMP Haverigg but it still had some way to go, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons.

Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the training prison in west Cumbria.

HMP Haverigg is perhaps the prison service’s most isolated prison. It had weathered the uncertainties of budget cuts, prison closures and new policies better than most prisons. It had maintained its performance, there was a real sense of momentum and realistic plans were in place to tackle some long-term weaknesses. Nevertheless, outcomes for prisoners were still not good enough in some crucial areas.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • most prisoners said they felt safe, significantly more than at the last inspection and more than at comparable prisons;
  • support for men at risk of suicide or self-harm was consistently good;
  • staff-prisoner relationships were generally very good and mitigated some of the weaknesses in the prison;
  • health care had improved;
  • most prisoners were out of their cells for a decent amount of time during the day;
  • there was a wide range of work, training and education opportunities on offer which were linked to employment prospects in the areas to which most prisoners would return;
  • the ‘smokery’ produced and sold smoked food and provided a very realistic working environment; and
  • practical resettlement services, such as helping prisoners to find accommodation or a job on release, were generally good.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • a minority of prisoners were subject to gang and debt-related bullying;
  • staff supervision was made difficult by the layout of the prison, with many prisoners accommodated in ‘billets’ or huts, poor external lighting and limited CCTV coverage;
  • not all incidents of violence were identified or investigated and support for victims was poor;
  • the use of segregation had increased, the use of force was high and some incidents were poorly dealt with;
  • the prison needed to improve its equality and diversity work and had little idea of the identity and needs of prisoners with protected characteristics;
  • there were too few work, training and education places available and allocation processes were inefficient; and
  • almost one-third of the population had an out of date or no OASys assessment.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Prisoners who kept their heads down, made the most of the opportunities on offer and whose needs were typical of the prison’s population as a whole would probably do reasonably well at Haverigg. However, those who needed more support or whose needs differed from the majority might have a less positive experience – sometimes to an unacceptable degree. Progress is being made and a positive, experienced staff group have created the foundations for further progress, but some processes need to be significantly improved and managers need to give close attention to ensuring that poor practice is challenged and improved.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has highlighted the progress being made at Haverigg during a period of real change.

“The wide range of work, training and education is helping to rehabilitate and resettle offenders and the Governor and his staff deserve real credit for the continued improvement.

“They will now use the recommendations in the report as part of their ongoing plans for the future.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 29 May 2014: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons

HMP Whitemoor – A High Security Prison doing good work to manage its population

Whitemoor high security prison
Whitemoor high security prison

Most prisoners at HMP Whitemoor felt safe and the prison was generally calm and ordered, although vigilance was needed as there was potential for serious problems to occur, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the maximum security jail in Cambridgeshire.

HMP Whitemoor held 454 adult men at the time of the inspection, all of whom were serving long or indeterminate sentences for very serious offences. The prison held a disproportionately large Muslim population who accounted for approximately 40% of the total prison population. A small number of them had been convicted of offences relating to terrorism. Sixty-nine prisoners were held on the Fens unit, formerly the ‘Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder unit’, which provided intensive therapy to men with personality disorders. A further six men were held on the Close Supervision Centre (CSC), part of a network of facilities centrally managed by the Prison Service and inspected separately.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • prisoners at risk of self-harm were generally well supported;
  • security arrangements were appropriately stringent and illicit use of substances was well controlled;
  • support for those with substance misuse problems was very good;
  • living conditions were generally good;
  • in general relationships between staff and prisoners had continued to improve, although a small number of staff remained more distant;
  • time out of cell was reasonable and vocational training opportunities were good; and
  • all prisoners had good support from offender supervisors, public protection issues were very good and a range of offending behaviour courses appropriate to the population was offered.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • while use of force was low, oversight arrangements were poor and in a small number of cases, there was little use of de-escalation and evidence of excessive force being used; and
  • the segregation regime for a number of long-stay residents remained particularly poor.

Black and minority ethnic, Muslim and foreign national prisoners were much less positive about a range of issues relating to safety and respect and many Muslim prisoners said they felt victimised because of their faith. Some good work had been done to understand and address these issues better. The issues were complex. Across all groups, there were some very dangerous men, some of whom tried to influence and pressurise other prisoners. In some cases this was gang-related, and included some Muslim prisoners convicted of terrorist offences who were an adverse influence on others. It was important not to confuse this with a development of religious faith which, for Muslims as for other prisoners, could be an important factor in positive changes of behaviour. More was still needed to assure prisoners of all faiths that their concerns were being dealt with seriously. The recently established multi-faith forum was a positive initiative and greater use still could have been made of the impressive chaplaincy team.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Overall Whitemoor was a safe, respectful and purposeful prison which provided some constructive opportunities for prisoners serving long sentences to address their offending behaviour. However, we had real concerns about the management and application of use of force and segregation which impacted negatively on some of the most vulnerable prisoners in the population, and which were a significant exception to this generally positive picture. The prison was doing some good work to manage its very diverse population and to understand and address the concerns of the significant number of black and minority ethnic and Muslim prisoners held. However, this remained a major challenge that needed a consistent high level of attention.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“Whitemoor manages very challenging and long-term prisoners so it is pleasing that the Chief Inspector has recognised the safe and purposeful environment it provides and the Governor and his staff deserve credit for their hard work in achieving this.

“They will now use the recommendations in the report to address the areas of improvement identified.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 22 May 2014: www.justice.gov.uk/http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/whitemoor

Inspection report HMP Durham: Progress needs to be speeded up

durham

Too many services at HMP Durham were not good enough although there was some good practice, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the north east local jail.

HMP Durham holds around 1,000 adult and young adult male prisoners. The jail dates back nearly 200 years, holding people in an aged infrastructure where virtually every cell is holding more people than it should. In addition, the prison has been subject to a competitive tendering process and is currently undertaking management reorganisations and benchmarking exercises. Durham has seen a lot of change and some progress but progress remains too slow.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • prisoner perceptions concerning their own safety seemed to be improving;
  • the prison had begun to tackle drug supply and reduction, while clinical treatment and support for those with drug problems had improved significantly;
  • most prisoners indicated that they felt well treated by segregation staff and inspectors noted the way segregation staff were supporting a man in isolation who had contagious TB but was refusing treatment;
  • the prison had recently opened a new health facility and mental health provision was excellent;
  • the provision of learning and skills activity was a strength and achievements of qualifications in education and vocational training were high;
  • support for resettlement needs was generally good, including some effective work to support prisoners in need of accommodation; and
  • contact and engagement by offender supervisors with prisoners before sentence planning was variable, but better than inspectors often see.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • arrangements to promote safety were not good enough: risk management, assessment and induction arrangements all needed to improve;
  • since its last inspection in 2011, four prisoners had taken their own lives and work to support those in self-harm crisis was weak, although incidents of self-harm seemed to be falling;
  • incidents of violence and anti-social behaviour were higher than expected and monitoring needed to be better;
  • mandatory drug testing suggested illicit drug usage was high and almost twice what would be expected in similar prisons;
  • problems associated with young adults, who were disproportionately represented in both the use of force and segregation, required better understanding by the prison; and
  • relationships between staff and prisoners were lacking and less than two-thirds of prisoners felt respected by staff.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Durham produces some reasonable and, at times, very good outcomes for prisoners. It is unusual that in an old Victorian local prison it is the quality of work activity and learning that is one of the prison’s best features. Resettlement services are also reasonably good. Durham, however, could be a better prison than it currently is. Many services, notably those run by operational staff, were not good enough. The prison has experienced some significant distractions in recent times but these should not be allowed to become excuses. Progress needs to be speeded up.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“Durham has been implementing major changes in working arrangements and has improved its performance whilst significantly reducing cost to the taxpayer. There is more to do – but the Governor and his staff deserve credit for the progress made in challenging circumstances. We will use the recommendations in this report to achieve further improvements over the next 12 months.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 20 May 2014 at: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons

Dartmoor Prison – Certainty needed about its future

dartmoorinsnow

HMP Dartmoor could continue to improve but only if staff and managers have much greater certainty about its future, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the training jail in Devon.

HMP Dartmoor was established in 1809. Its isolated location and the age and dilapidated state of some of its buildings make it a very challenging establishment to run. A few months before its inspection, ministers announced that negotiations would take place with the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns the prison, about its closure. However, there is a notice period of 10 years and it is possible that the prison will continue to operate for years to come.

Despite the challenges of its environment and location, the prison could offer improved and reasonable prisoner outcomes for those it held. There had been improvements in some areas since its last inspection and there were some credible plans in place to make more. There were significant weaknesses but most of these were in the prison’s direct control. However, some certainty about the timeframe is needed for staff to know where they stand, facilitate sensible decisions about the capital investment required and provide a basis for effective planning to meet the needs of the prison population.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • reception processes were efficient and welcoming;
  • care for men at risk of suicide or self-harm was reasonable;
  • the environment of the segregation unit had improved and relationships between staff and prisoners were good, although very little was done to address the behaviour of those held there;
  • good efforts had been made to improve the external environment;
  • good and improved relationships between staff and prisoners mitigated the worst effects of the poor physical conditions;
  • Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, the new health care provider, had improved health services;
  • most men enjoyed good time out of their cells; and
  • the education, training and work environment was impressive and the quality of what was provided was good.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • too many prisoners said they felt unsafe, levels of victimisation were high and sloppy processes meant that the prison was not adequately sighted on the true levels of violence;
  • safety was compromised by the too ready availability of prohibited drugs which included synthetic cannabinoids such as ‘Spice’, tradable prescribed drugs, injected drugs and illicitly brewed alcohol, or ‘hooch’;
  • the new incentives and earned privileges scheme had been poorly implemented;
  • some cells were very small, some roofs leaked badly and some cells were damp;
  • too many men arrived without an up-to-date risk assessment or sentence plan, which compromised the progress they could make at Dartmoor;
  • following the closure of other prisons in the region, Dartmoor held a large population of sex offenders, a significant proportion of whom were judged to be in denial of their offence and there was no provision for them; and
  • although practical resettlement support was generally effective, visits arrangements were inadequate and did not take sufficient account of the isolated location of the prison.

Nick Hardwick said:

“There is a risk that staff and managers at HMP Dartmoor become paralysed by the things over which they have little control – the uncertainties over the prison’s future, the state of the buildings, the prison’s location and the make-up of the population it holds – and that this becomes an excuse for not addressing the things they can change. The improvements that have been made show what can be done by determined leadership. The prison and regional managers should now focus on reducing levels of violence, building on the improvements made to education, training and work, tackling the backlog of risk assessments and ensuring an effective strategy is in place to deal with the sex offender population.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has acknowledged the improvements made at Dartmoor.

“The decision to give notice on the lease is part of our wider strategy to modernise the prison estate but Dartmoor will continue to operate as a prison for a number of years yet, and we are therefore committed to support it developing the regime.

“The Governor will use the recommendations in the report to achieve further improvement at Dartmoor over the next few years.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/dartmoor

 

HM Prison Eastwood Park – an impressive women’s prison

eastwoodpark

The way HMP Eastwood Park responded to the challenges of its population was impressive, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the Gloucestershire women’s prison.

HMP Eastwood Park holds a needy and transient population from a wide geographical area, taking women from Cornwall in the South West to Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, across Wales and along the south coast. Many women were a long way from home, a particular problem for the large number who also had dependent children. A significant number of women had disabilities, half the population were in touch with mental health services at the prison, almost three-quarters were having treatment for drug and alcohol misuse and there were about 10 self-harm incidents every week. Many of the women had histories of abuse, rape, domestic violence and involvement in prostitution. Few women stayed at the prison for longer than a few weeks with most staying less than three months.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • first night and early days support was now very good and much improved from a previous inspection in 2012;
  • support for women who were vulnerable to self-harm was good and incidence of self-harm had greatly reduced, although it was still high;
  • significant progress had been made in treating and supporting the high number of women with substance misuse problems;
  • the environment was generally decent and staff-prisoner relationships were particularly strong;
  • the very high numbers of women with disabilities had their needs met in a planned and sensitive way;
  • time out of cell was good for all, there were sufficient activity places for the population and a good work ethic was encouraged; and
  • a good range of partner agencies were engaged in resettlement work.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • around 10% of the population were young adult women aged 18 to 21 and there had been little thought about their specific needs;
  • young adult women were more likely to be involved in self-harm and assaults and less likely to make progress in education;
  • the mother and baby unit was a good resource but was underused;
  • women needed to be allocated to activities more quickly, as many of them stayed in the prison for such a short time; and
  • custody planning for short-sentenced women was underdeveloped.

 

Nick Hardwick said:

“Staff, managers and partner agencies at Eastwood Park, from top to bottom, should be proud of what they have achieved and the impressive mixture of compassion and professionalism we found on this inspection. The problems and needs they deal with go far beyond issues of crime and punishment. A large, closed institution, far from home, cannot be the best place to meet the needs we found among the women at Eastwood Park – and it is in view of those challenges that the outcomes achieved are all the more impressive. There are still areas where improvements is required but they should be seen in the context of these very positive findings overall.”

“The prison is now due to expand and take on a new role as a resettlement prison. We are not yet assured that the rehabilitation model adopted, primarily designed for the male estate, is right for a women’s prison such as Eastwood Park. It will be important that as the new model is developed, full use if made of the experience and expertise available at Eastwood Park and other women’s prisons to ensure it is fit for purpose.”

 

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“This is an extremely positive report highlighting the excellent work done at Eastwood Park in managing a vulnerable group of women. As the Chief Inspector rightly highlights, the Governor and his staff should be proud of the significant improvements made in providing support especially during the early days in custody and for those with substance misuse issues or those vulnerable to self-harm.

“The prison will continue to build on the progress made as it changes into a resettlement prison, focused on ensuring that all prisoners can maintain crucial family relationships and have access to through-the-gate rehabilitative services.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 3 April 2014 at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/eastwoodpark

HM Prison Lincoln – improvements across all areas but more to do

Lincoln_prison

HMP Lincoln was a much improved prison although there is much more to do, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an announced inspection of the local jail.

HMP Lincoln, built in the 19th century, holds 700 prisoners. It is significantly overcrowded and faces many of the challenges common to Victorian local jails. At its last inspection in 2012, the prison was poorly led, unsafe and failing to provide a meaningful regime. Inspectors returned a year later in 2013 for an announced inspection in the hope that this would encourage action and improvement. The 2013 inspection found improvement evident across a broad base, affecting most aspects of the prison’s work.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • there was innovative work to identify the needs of new prisoners while they were still at court;
  • a newly built reception meant that prisoners’ needs could be identified on arrival;
  • overall levels of violence were comparable with similar prisons and levels of self-harm were lower;
  • drug testing suggested illicit drug usage was relatively low, although there was evidence to indicate the increasing availability of less detectable drugs, such as Black Mamba;
  • there were good levels of staff supervision around the wings and security was proportionately applied;
  • the use of force was decreasing and was now comparable to similar prisons;
  • the prison’s daily routine was applied with greater rigour and the number of prisoners locked up during the working day had almost halved;
  • the number of purposeful activity places had increased and was now sufficient to meet need;
  • Lincolnshire Action Trust, in partnership with the prison, ensured an impressive case management approach to resettlement; and
  • the prison was much cleaner and staff-prisoner relationships appeared to be supportive.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • although the prison was safer than at the last inspection and levels of violence were comparable with similar prisons, prisoners expressed concerns about their safety and there had been two self-inflicted deaths since the last inspection;
  • at the time of this inspection, the prison was dealing with the aftermath of a serious incident and the fatality of a prisoner;
  • the first night wing remained in a poor condition, leaving prisoners with an early impression of a chaotic environment;
  • there was a growing backlog of offender assessments, sentence planning was variable and prisoners had only intermittent contact with their offender supervisors;
  • the prison held around 80 sex offenders who were in denial of their offence and there was no strategy to manage this; and
  • although good work was being done to promote equality and diversity, prisoners from black and minority ethnic backgrounds expressed more negative perceptions of the prison.

 

Nick Hardwick said:

“Overall Lincoln is a much improved prison from 15 months ago. There has been evident progress in all aspects of the prison’s operation and, although there is much to do, work is incremental, grounded and feels sustainable. The prison is well led, motivated and working to a plan. There are grounds to be optimistic about the prison’s future, although the perceptions of the prisoner population and structures to support effective communication with them should be explored further.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has recognised the significant improvements that have been made at Lincoln despite the challenging operating environment.

“The Governor and his staff have worked extremely hard and deserve credit for the progress made.

“There remains more to do and we will use the recommendations in this report to support further improvements.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/lincoln

HMP Kirkham – an impressive resettlement prison

HMP_Kirkham

HMP Kirkham was a very effective prison which successfully addressed the complex needs of some prisoners, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the Lancashire open prison.

HMP Kirkham holds up to 630 men, nearly a quarter of whom are either life sentence prisoners or subject to indeterminate sentences for public protection. Previous inspections have found Kirkham to be an impressive institution with a balanced approach to risk management and an appropriate focus on resettlement. This inspection found that progress had been sustained.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • Kirkham was a safe prison with a mature population profile, with about 70% of prisoners over the age of 30;
  • risk was managed with proportionality and confidence;
  • there were few incidents of violence or self-harm;
  • the prison delivered some good drug intervention work;
  • the general environment was well maintained;
  • there was some good support for older prisoners and those with disabilities and care needs;
  • prisoners had excellent access to facilities and services, with purposeful activity available to all;
  • provision in work, vocational training and education was well planned and had a focus on employability; and
  • resettlement outcomes in the prison were reasonably good although there remained some gaps in fully addressing offending behaviour.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • use of illicit drugs was higher than usually seen in open prisons;
  • the number of prisoners subject to segregation had increased significantly and the facility was bleak; and
  • although relationships between prisoners and staff were respectful, over a quarter of prisoners said they felt victimised by staff, which needed more investigation by managers.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Kirkham is a very effective and impressive prison. Across the range of our healthy prison tests we found outcomes to be reasonably good or better, and the prison was successfully addressing some complex needs. Although some structures required attention, staff and managers exhibited a confidence, competence and sense of purpose that was equipping prisoners well through their transition from imprisonment to resettlement.”

 

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased the Chief Inspector has recognised HMP Kirkham as a very effective prison addressing the needs of complex prisoners and maintaining its focus on providing resettlement opportunities – this is a credit to the hard work of the Governor and his staff.

“The prison will continue to build on the progress they have made and look to address any areas of concern raised in the report.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/kirkham

HM Prison Liverpool – Slow but steady progress

HM PRISON LIVERPOOL
HM PRISON LIVERPOOL

HMP Liverpool was well led and was making steady but slow progress, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons as he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the local jail.

HMP Liverpool has had a difficult history with some seemingly intractable problems. However, inspectors were encouraged to find the prison retained a clear leadership focus on providing more decent and progressive treatment for those held. The progress, albeit slow, identified at the inspection in 2011 had continued. Many men arrived at the prison with substance misuse issues, mental health-related problems and disability. The mainly 19th century infrastructure presented real impediments to providing a decent living environment and recent staffing changes had presented risks in maintaining stability. Nevertheless, the prison had done a reasonable job of addressing those challenges although gaps remained.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • security was well managed and there was some excellent work to develop violence reduction processes;
  • support for prisoners with substance misuse had improved significantly;
  • prisoners at risk of self-harm were receiving some reasonable support;
  • relationships between staff and prisoners were generally good;
  • time out of cell was reasonable for most prisoners and the range of vocational training opportunities had improved;
  • the provision of activity places was broadly sufficient for the population held and most prisoners were involved in something purposeful; and
  • management of resettlement was good and public protection arrangements were satisfactory.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • although first night and induction procedures had improved, many prisoners still felt unsafe on their first night;
  • more generally, too many prisoners felt unsafe;
  • too many prisoners at risk of self-harm were being held in segregation;
  • there were real challenges with the diversion and trading of prescribed medications;
  • the segregation unit and regime were particularly poor;
  • prisoners with disabilities suffered from poor access to some areas of the prison; and
  • too much teaching and learning was inadequate and the achievement of qualifications on some courses had fallen.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Liverpool appears to be coping well following some recent restructuring and the realignment of its resources. The prison is well led. There is a competence and realism on the part of the governor and his senior team about the risks they manage and what can be done to affect improvement. The environment is a concern and in need of meaningful investment. There remain gaps and weaknesses in some provision and the often negative perceptions of prisoners should be addressed seriously and not rationalised away. The prison needs to improve the way it deals with vulnerable prisoners. Despite this, outcomes in many areas are better than we have seen in the past, and there is a sense of continuing steady, if slow, progress.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has confirmed that Liverpool continues to improve despite a more complex and challenging prisoner population and a 19th century infrastructure.
“The Governor and his staff deserve real credit for implementing ‘new ways of working’ and achieving improvements whilst also reducing cost.
“We will use the recommendations in this report to support further improvement – I want to commend the leadership provided by the Governor and his senior team and the commitment demonstrated by Liverpool staff.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/liverpool

HMYOI Werrington – Improvements made but challenges remain say Inspectors

Werrington

HMYOI Werrington was working more positively with the young people it held, but still had areas to address, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the young offender institution near Stoke-on-Trent.

HMYOI Werrington holds up to 160 boys under the age of 18. During the inspection about two-thirds were sentenced and one-third on remand. The significant risks and accountability of institutions holding children and young people means they are now inspected more frequently. This inspection followed an inspection in 2012 where inspectors found a reasonably caring institution, but one that had slipped back, where expectations were too low, poor behaviour not sufficiently challenged and where young people had little to do. This inspection found some improvements, but with significant shortcomings remaining.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • the new purpose-built reception was impressive and young people reported very positively about their treatment on arrival;
  • behaviour management had improved;
  • use of force had fallen, was better managed and incidents were now more likely to be de-escalated by staff;
  • child protection and safeguarding arrangements were very effective and Werrington was well connected with the local authority in support of this work;
  • relationships between staff and young people were positive, but this was often not reflected in formal structures such as case notes or an effective mentoring scheme;
  • there were higher expectations of young people and outcomes for young people from minorities were reasonably good;
  • young people generally had a reasonable amount of time out of cell;
  • Werrington was developing its strategy to improve learning and skills and attendance and behaviour were better; and
  • work in support of resettlement remained good.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • although anti-bullying measures were more robust, levels of violence remained high;
  • the quality of respect was critically undermined by some very poor environmental conditions: some cells were filthy and a few were not in a fit state to house young people; and
  • some teaching required improvement and the range of vocational training was limited.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Werrington has taken steps to address some of the key issues we identified at our last visit. There is now a more positive approach to working with young people and some significant risk continues to be reasonably well managed. This will be more sustainable and useful if it is supported by effective systems and structures to embed the improvement. Improvements to the provision of purposeful activity need speeding up and the cleanliness of accommodation requires immediate attention.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:
“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector recognises the progress that is being made at Werrington.

“The Governor and his staff are working positively to offer good resettlement and improve the behaviour of a complex and challenging population.

“They will continue to build on these improvements as they address the recommendations set out in the report.”

A copy of the report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 6 March 2014 at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/inspectorate-reports/hmi-prisons/prison-and-yoi/werrington