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31 July 2015, 06:00
The Chief Inspector of Prisons says a Huntingdonshire jail needs to do more to reduce the risk of inmates re-offending, when they're let out.
HMP Littlehey had managed its change in population very well, but now needed to do more to reduce the risks of reoffending of its new prisoner population, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons.
Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the Cambridgeshire jail.
HMP Littlehey holds 1,200 adult category C sex offenders. At its last inspection in 2011, the prison was a split site holding adult category C prisoners, including sex offenders, in one part of the prison and young adults in a separate part. In 2014 the young adults were transferred to other establishments and were replaced by sex offenders from prisons less able to deal with their offending behaviour needs. This was a fundamental change as the young adults were replaced by a new population with very different offence backgrounds, many of whom were ageing and in poor health.
The prison also had to cope with the national benchmarking process (a resources review) twice - once for its old population and once for its new. The prison was managing these changes and pressures very well.
The replacement of young adults by sex offenders meant that safety and respect issues had become less critical and greater priority now needed to be given to ensuring sufficient work, training and education was available and that offender management processes met the requirements of the new population.
Inspectors were pleased to find that:
Nick Hardwick said:
"HMP Littlehey is a well-led prison and managers and staff should be commended on the way they have managed the substantial changes they have had to deal with. At the time of the inspection, this was still work in progress. Safety and respect were now good and necessary plans to develop the quality and quantity of activity available were progressing well.
Improving the quantity and level of qualifications that prisoners were able to obtain needed to form a large part of this. The prison needs to step up its efforts to adjust its offender management processes to meet the needs of its new population, and to ensure that all those who work in the prison see it as their job to help reduce the risk that these prisoners will reoffend after release. That is not yet the case and needs to be the priority going forward."
Phil Copple, Director of Public Sector Prisons, said:
"I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has highlighted that staff at HMP Littlehey have managed the recent population changes so well, and that relationships with prisoners are strong. This is crucial to successful rehabilitation.
As the report highlights, Littlehey is a safe prison, with low levels of violence and drug use - this is a credit to the governor and his staff. They will now rise to the challenge of progressing the Chief Inspector's recommendations and improve Littlehey even further."