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Another tough read: Latest report on Aylesbury Prison

Another tough read: Latest report on Aylesbury Prison

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:48am 18th January 2019.

Serious assaults on staff at Aylesbury Prison have more than doubled in a year.

This is yet another look at conditions at the Young Offenders Institute and, while there are some positives, it isn't great.

From a crumbling building and poor shower facilities, to an increase in violent attacks on staff, the Independent Monitoring Board's report feels like many others over the past few years.

Comparing 2017/18 to 16/17 

  • Incidents of self-harm 255 451
  • ACCT plans opened for prisoners at danger to themselves 217 191
  • Fights 119 174
  • Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults 241 222
  • Prisoner-on-staff assaults 92 71
  • Serious assaults on staff 33 14
  • Sexual assaults 0 2

There are also a lot of worries about the fabric of the buildings, with inspectors writing about this issue the most in their report.

The raise issues with:

  • State of the floors, many in need of urgent repair
  • Showers in a poor state

"Ventilation is often insufficient, mould is evident, paintwork peeling and odour present."

  • Use of temporary boilers
  • Repair/replacement of kitchen kit
  • Main prison frontage 'falling off'

Positives

HM Prison
Inspectors raised issues with the condition of the prison buildings

But the IMB do say there are more staff on the wings, making things safer and more inmates are working full-time compared to 2017.

There is also more time spent in education and the whole prison is now a smoke-free zone.

They've left a list of suggestions

Inspectors ask will the Minister:

  • Provide an improvement to pay and conditions of staff sufficient to enable the prison to recruit and retain enough staff?
  • Provide the resources to enable the Governor and Senior Management Team to manage the prison effectively and to enable each prisoner to have a more appropriate level of purposeful activity including employment?

Will the Prison Service:

  • Allow the prison (where appropriate) to choose its own providers for maintenance of the fabric, to ensure better value for money and a more timely service?
  • Allocate resources urgently to ensure critical maintenance is completed properly and in a timely manner?
  • Centralise the arrangements for transfer of prisoners out of the Segregation Unit into other prisons, so that prisoners who need a fresh start elsewhere are not left waiting longer than necessary whilst staff spend time attempting to negotiate ad hoc moves?
  • Speed up the vetting process so that new employees can start work sooner?

What actions will the Governor take to:

  • Retain the more experienced staff on the wings? Employ a dedicated team of officers to escort duties for healthcare, library and other services?
  • Reduce the exposure of wing staff to violent assault by prisoners?
  • Improve the retention of wing staff who are new to the Prison Service?

We've asked the Ministry of Justice for a statement.

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