More than 100 people have lost their lives through suicide in prisons in England and Wales so far this year, an all-time record.
HMP Wayland: Weaknesses Still Need Addressing
A recent surprise inspection of the prison found that there is still room for improvement.
HMP Wayland holds around 1,000 men and was last inspected in 2011 when reports said that staff shortages were having a detrimental effect on healthcare.
Three years on, Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, says that although improvements have been made, there is still significant weaknesses that need to be addressed.
The report found that the biggest issue in the prison is staff-inmate relationships.
A few of the other key areas of concern were; the induction of new prisoners, the amount done to reintroduce inmates from segregation into the prison community and the lack of resources applied to diversity and equality issues and black and minority ethnic prisoners.
However, the recent inspection did find the prison to be safe and also found that prisoners had a good amount of time out of their cells and the range and quality of work, education and training was good, but could still be improved.
Some of the most improvement outlined in the report was that levels of inmates self-harming was low, that substance misuse management was better and that healthcare had improved considerably since 2011.
When talking about the past inspection and recent improvements, Nick Hardwick said:
“HMP Wayland was very stretched at the time of the inspection. Budget reductions and management changes were having an impact and many staff were still in the process of adapting to new roles. A number of promising new initiatives were in the early stages and the full benefits had yet to be realised.
"Maintaining and, in some cases, improving outcomes for prisoners in these circumstances was a real achievement. Action was already being taken to address some of the weaknesses we have identified. However, not enough attention was being paid to weak first night and induction processes, prisoners’ relationships with staff and the poor experience of some prisoners from minority groups. These remain significant concerns and need to be dealt with as priorities.”
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), went on to say:
"I am pleased the Chief Inspector has recognised the improvements that have been made at Wayland despite it undergoing a significant period of change.
"It is particularly encouraging to see the positive work taking place in preparing offenders for release - this stands the prison in good stead for its future role as a designated resettlement prison.
"I am confident that the Governor and his staff will work hard to address any concerns raised in the report, particularly staff-prisoner relationships."
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