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Positive report for Grendon Underwood Prison after inspection

HM Prison

6:38am 14th September 2017

Grendon Underwood Prison has received a positive report following an unannounced visit by the Chief Inspector back in May.

The report, published today, found that:

  • most men reported feeling safe and secure and far fewer men than at the last inspection felt victimised by staff;
  • violent incidents remained infrequent, the prison operated without a segregation unit and very few men were required to move to other jails for security or disciplinary reasons;
  • although the physical fabric of the prison was shabby, men showed respect towards their living environment and staff made efforts to ensure they had the wherewithal to live decently;
  • relationships between staff and prisoners and among prisoners and their peers were excellent and underpinned much that was positive about Grendon;
  • therapy was the main purposeful activity and consumed a significant proportion of the day;
  • time out of cell was excellent, a range of activities were offered and work, skills and learning provision had improved; and
  • the whole prison was focused on providing a rehabilitative culture and environment. 

Inspectors found, however, that the automated night sanitation system was outdated and presented real challenges.

Peter Clarke said:

“The strong picture we reported at our previous inspection had been enhanced, and outcomes were even better. Nearly all recommendations we made previously had been achieved, or significant progress made in doing so. Many men at the prison recognised the benefits of the opportunities offered and how they would help them live offending-free lives in the future. This was in no small part down to the strong, principled and focused leadership of the prison, which provided more junior staff and prisoners with role models, exemplifying the positive behaviour and thinking expected of them. Not every prison can or needs to be a therapeutic community, but the values, principles and practice seen at Grendon could provide positive lessons and inspiration for other prisons. HM Prison and Probation Service should ensure this example is shared more widely for the benefits of others.”

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of HM Prison & Probation Service, said:

“HMP Grendon continues to provide a safe and supportive environment for men, allowing them to participate in the therapeutic process, which is vital to successful rehabilitation. The positive relationships noted by the Inspectorate are testament to the hard work of the prison’s dedicated staff and the strong leadership of senior management at the prison.”

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