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HMP Stocken – Reasonably Successful

November 27, 2012, 12:05 am

HMP Stocken had made progress in all areas but needed to provide more work, training and education for prisoners, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an announced inspection of the East Midlands training jail.

HMP Stocken opened in 1985 and has continued a rapid expansion in capacity in recent years. It can now hold more than 1,000 prisoners on a very large site. Its last inspection in 2010 found a mixed picture with an institution that was reasonably safe but failing to provide activity of sufficient quality. This announced follow-up inspection found evident improvements although there were still shortcomings in the provision of activity.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • Stocken continued to be a safe prison, a considerable achievement given its size and extent;
  • it had adopted a robust approach to antisocial behaviour;
  • most accommodation was bright and clean;
  • relationships between staff and prisoners had improved;
  • health care had shown significant improvement; and
  • the prison continued to provide reasonable resettlement services.

Inspectors were, however, concerned to find that:

  • despite considerable management effort, activity places had not kept pace with the growth of the population;
  • too many prisoners were locked up during the working part of the day;
  • the treatment of vulnerable prisoners required improvement and too many prisoners in a self-harm crisis were segregated; and
  • although the use of illegal drugs in the prison was reasonably low, this masked the diversion of prescribed medications.

Nick Hardwick said:

“Overall this is a reasonably good report. Stocken is a surprisingly large prison and a significant management challenge. Progress had been made in all areas but more needed to be done to provide sufficient activity.”

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

“Stockens expansion has brought with it a set challenges and Im pleased that the Chief Inspector has recognised the progress made, which is a credit to the Governor and staff.

“We are committed to managing prisoners safely and the treatment of vulnerable prisoners is key to maintaining a stable prison environment. Resources are focused on drugs we believe may be being misused by prisoners using routine mandatory drug tests, targeted searching, drug education and other interventions.”

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