Inspectors find a mixed picture at Hull Prison

Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by KCFM

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HM Inspectorate of Prisons found room for improvement at a recent, unannounced inspection of HMP Hull.

Inspectors criticized the management of violence in the prison, and found that more prisoners considered themselves unsafe at some time (50%) than otherwise (40%).

They found that far too many prisoners were in very cramped cells designed for one prisoner, and that prisoners subject to suicide and self-harm prevention measures said the care they received was poor.

However, there were also positives to build on. Levels of self-harm were lower compared to other local prisonss, and there were few incidents involving the use of force. Vocational training was found to be good, and there was also praise for the prison’s mental health and drug recovery support.

Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, says HMP Hull has to work to improve in an increasingly challenging environment:

“There’s certainly pressure on resources, and there have been reductions in staffing levels. There’s more people doing longer sentences for more serious offences. Across the prison system violence is getting worse – though in Hull, actually that wasn’t as bad as we’ve seen elsewhere. But it’s certainly something they need to keep on top of.”

“Prisoners told us they felt unsafe or frightened, and some of the processes they had in place for supporting and tackling perpetrators, weren’t as good as they needed to be. Prisoners who were at risk of suicide or self-harm, we thought the care for them was too variable.”

“Levels of violence were either the same as, or lower than, elsewhere. They had better control of their drug problem. Staff-prisoner relationships were good. There was good provision of time out of their cells for training that would reduce the risk they would re-offend.”

“We all want prisoners to come out of prison less likely to commit offences. So our first priority is to keep the place safe and decent. Then you’ve got to try and give people the skills and experience, and attitude they need to get and hold down a job when they leave. That’s crucial to staying out of trouble.”

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

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector found Hull to be performing reasonably well in all four healthy prison tests and has highlighted that a considerable amount of good work is taking place at the prison, such as good mental health provision, vocational training and drug recovery support.

“The prison has undergone a number of changes in the last year but they have worked well with a challenging population to ensure a safe and rehabilitative environment.

“Hull will be fully supported as they make further improvements in line with the recommendations of this report.”

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Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by KCFM

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