Ministry of Justice Performance Rating for this prison: 2 (Combined)
This is on a scale from 1 (serious concerns) to 4 (Exceptional) and is worked out by the Ministry of Justice taking into account 34 criteria such as overcrowding, purposeful activities etc. A score of 3 is considered a good performance. Published quarterly.
Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 22.2 (2010)
This figure is supplied by each prison to the Prison Service. Actual hours are usually dependent on activities etc. and should be taken as the maximum time either in workshops or education over a whole week.
Both of these figures are published retrospectively by the MoJ and HMPS and may have changed since the figures were published but they give a simple comparison between prisons.
Figures are aggregated for all three clustered prisons and therefore refer to the Cluster as a whole. Because the Cluster comprises of different types of prison the actual cost per prisoner will vary across the establishment.
Annual Budget: £36,400,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £37,097
*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.
CONSTITUENCY: Isle of Wight
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Andrew Turner (Conservative)
Prisoners may write to either their ‘Home MP’ or the MP in whose constituency their current prison lies.
The address to write to is:
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Isle of Wight Council
Customer Service Centre, County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1UD
Tel: 01983 821000
Click Here for link
You can contact the local authority on matters such as libraries, environmental health, trading standards, food hygiene, social services, education and electoral registration.
The nearest Trading Standards department is at:
Isle of Wight County Council, Trading Standards Service, Jubilee Stores, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2EH
Tel: 01983 823396
Click Here for link
Trading Standards can help with problems with purchases such as weights and measures, ‘best by’ dates, pricing & faulty goods.
Most prisons now have PIN phones. Your relative or friend usually needs to apply to have your name and number on his/her telephone account. You will usually receive a call from the prison to check who you are and to ensure you are happy for them to call you. Prisoners cannot receive telephone calls.
There is no restriction on who prisoners can call except in the case of calls to journalists intended to be broadcast. In some cases child protection measures may mean extra checks on who they call.
Prisoners can normally make calls only during ‘association’ periods. Some prisons limit the length of time a call can last to avoid queues and people being disappointed. Prisoners’ telephone calls are very expensive; calls to landlines now cost 10p per minute and 37.5 p to mobiles (compared to 2p in a public phone box). In most prisons the phone calls can be listened to and/or recorded.
If a prisoner is newly convicted or transferred they should be offered an immediate ‘Reception’ phone call to tell you where they are. It may take a few days for numbers to be transferred or added.
When you write to a prisoner you must include your full name and address. In most prisons the letters are searched and can be read before being given to the prisoner.
You can write about anything but letters must not be obscene, name ‘victims’, or be a threat to discipline or security. Do not enclose any items with letters. Make sure you put sufficient postage to cover the costs (anything bigger than A5 counts as ‘large’). Prisoners can normally receive a ‘reasonable’ number of letters per week.
If you send greetings cards these should be of reasonable size and not padded or pouched. Do not send musical cards. If you are sending more than one card put them all inside one outer envelope, this saves postage. Remember to include your full details (you could put your details on a ‘Post-It’ note stuck to the card or include a letter which has your details).
Always put the prisoner’s full name and prison number. If the person has been moved their mail will be forwarded.
On conviction or transfer a prisoner should be given a ‘Reception’ letter to write to tell you where they are.
Prisoners are given a free letter each week to post out, they can send more, but at their own expense. Some prisons allow you to send in stamps.
You can usually send in photographs but in some prisons these must not include any image of the prisoner. Child protection measures may mean that some prisoners may not receive pictures of children, unless they are their own and were not ‘victims’. If you send pictures of children include an explanatory note identifying who the children are and their relationship to the prisoner.
It is not a good idea to send cash, this can get ‘lost’ in the prison. Prisons prefer postal orders, but you could send a cheque. Make these payable to ‘H M Prison Service’, write your name on the back and also the prisoner’s full name and prison number. Any money sent which is deemed to be ‘anonymous’ can be stopped.
Money you send is paid into the prisoner’s ‘Private Cash’ account and they get access to a certain amount (depending upon IEP) each week [currently £15.50 for Standard prisoners].
For full information about visits please refer to our ‘Visit Info’ section for this prison. Visits are very important to prisoners. At most prisons you may not give any item to the prisoner. Any items you wish to give them must usually be posted to the prison, and often after the prisoner has placed an ‘application’ for authorisation to have it sent in. The items which can be posted in are very limited. Check with the prisoner first and wait until they confirm that you can post it.
If there is a serious emergency - close family serious illness, death, or other reason you need to inform the prisoner immediately, you should telephone the main prison number and explain the problem to the operator who will transfer you to the appropriate person. If you are unhappy about their response redial and ask to speak to the Chaplaincy. Prison staff will not pass on general messages but only critical and very urgent messages. You should provide full details of the prisoner including their number.
Support and Advice
There are many very good charities and agencies who offer support and advice to people with family or friends in prison. We have a special section ‘Help/Support’ which has details and contact information for many of these. Do not hesitate or feel shy about calling any of these; they are there to offer support and advice.
EMAIL A PRISONER
This service operates at this prison. Email a Prisoner enables you to send messages to prisoners, in the UK and Irish prisons that operate the service, from any computer, without any of the hassles of writing and posting a letter, and it costs less than a second class stamp!
Your message is delivered to the prison within seconds so that it can be delivered to the prisoner by the prison staff in the next delivery.
It is free to sign up to Email a Prisoner and only takes a few seconds - all you need is an email address (EMaP can help you if you don't have an email address).
Once a member you will be able to send a message to any prisoner in the UK or Ireland, provided you know their prisoner number, from just 25 pence per message.
Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website
Story Book Dads/Mums
Story Book Dads/Mums operates at this prison.
The imprisoned parent records a story and a message which is then edited and enhanced using digital audio software and editors remove mistakes and add sound effects and music. Finally a CD is made, a personalised cover created, and the finished disc sent to the child. The whole service is free.
Click Here for more information
Prison Video Link (PVL)
All prisons with video link facilities have at least one courtroom and two briefing rooms where the defendant can hold a conference with their solicitor before and, if required, after their court hearing.
If court hearings are not taking place it may be possible for solicitors, barristers and Probation Officers to hold interviews with a prisoner via video link to save having to visit the prison.
The facility is also available to assist the Parole Board in dealing with oral hearings.
It should be noted however that court hearings must take priority.
At other times, operational reasons may mean bookings are refused or cancelled at short notice.
To book the Video Link facility telephone: 01983 554000 ext 4363/4377
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP)
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales (HMI Prisons) is an independent inspectorate which reports on conditions for, and treatment of, those in prisons, young offender institutions and immigration detention facilities. They provide independent scrutiny of the conditions for and treatment of prisoners and other detainees, promoting the concept of 'healthy prisons' in which staff work effectively to support prisoners and detainees to reduce reoffending or achieve other agreed outcomes.
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) is appointed from outside the Prison Service, for a term of five years. The Chief Inspector reports to Ministers on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons in England and Wales.
The Inspectorate’s programme of inspection is based on a mixture of chronology and risk assessment. Full inspections run on a five or three year cycle; all unannounced follow-up inspections run on a risk-assessed basis.
Prison establishments holding adults and young adults are inspected once every five years. Establishments holding juveniles are inspected every three years. This type of inspection lasts for at least one week. The Inspectorate collects information from many sources, including the people who work there, the people who are imprisoned or detained there, and visitors or others with an interest in the establishment. Inspection findings are reported back to the establishment’s managers. Reports are published within 16 weeks of inspection. The establishment is then expected to produce an action plan, based on the recommendations made within the report, within a short period following publication.
Full follow-up inspections
Follow-up inspections are unannounced and proportionate to risk. In full follow-up inspections inspectors assess progress made and undertake in-depth analysis of areas of serious concern identified in the previous full inspection, particularly on safety and respect.
Short follow-up inspections
Short follow-up inspections are also unannounced and conducted where the previous full inspection and their intelligence systems suggest that there are comparatively fewer concerns.
Three escort inspections are conducted every year.
One month prior to each full announced inspection, an inspector will visit the establishment to plan the inspection and request a range of preliminary information. In addition, researchers will attend to conduct a confidential survey of a representative proportion of the prisoner population. Results from the prisoner survey are provided for inspectors prior to the inspection and constitute an important source of evidence.
All inspections are conducted against the Inspectorate's published inspection criteria, 'Expectations'. Expectations' are based on international human rights standards, as well as Prison Service Orders and Standards, and over all issues considered essential to the safe, respectful and purposeful treatment of prisoners in custody and their effective resettlement.
'Expectations' is the document which sets out the detailed criteria HMI Prisons uses to appraise and inspect prisons. These criteria are used to examine every area of prison life, from reception to resettlement, including;
• safer custody
• health services
• good order
The concept of a healthy prison is one that was first set out by the World Health Organisation, but it has been developed by this Inspectorate, and is now widely accepted as a definition of what ought to be provided in any custodial environment. It rests upon four key tests:
• safety: prisoners, even the most vulnerable, are held safely
• respect: prisoners are treated with respect for their human dignity
• purposeful activity: prisoners are able, and expected, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them
• resettlement: prisoners are prepared for release into the community, and helped to reduce the likelihood of reoffending
Inspection reports are published within 16 weeks of the inspection. Prior to publication, the Prison Service (or whoever is responsible for the establishment) is invited to correct any factual inaccuracies within the report. The establishment is then expected to produce an action plan, based on the recommendations made in the report, within two months of publication. A progress report on the action plain is produced after a further 12 months.
Last Inspection by HMCIP:
21 May – 1 June 2012 Unannounced full follow-up inspection
Published: October 2012
This is a combined inspection of all three prisons making up HMP Isle of Wight
Albany improving but Parkhurst slipping back
“HMP Isle of Wight is an amalgamation of three significant and quite challenging institutions: Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill. When we last inspected, we highlighted the potential risks that such radical restructuring could pose, not least because of the concerns we had previously expressed about the three sites. To the credit of senior managers we found some progress at that time. At this inspection it appeared that the process of integration and assimilation had, to an extent, continued, but that the distinctive character of the three sites remained. There was also evidence that management attention, which had previously been focused on restoring basic standards at Parkhurst, was now more evenly applied.
“ Albany was the safest of the three sites we inspected but fewer prisoners than at comparator sites felt safe at Parkhurst and Camp Hill. At Parkhurst there had been some deterioration in safety and it was noticeable that the integration of mainstream and vulnerable prisoners was being challenged by significant prisoner-on-prisoner victimisation that some attributed to an influx of prisoners from Camp Hill. Levels of bullying were high but under-reported, and all three segregation units experienced significant throughput. Paradoxically, recorded incidents of violence and the use of force were quite low. There were relatively high levels of illicit drugs available at Camp Hill, and the diversion of prescribed medication was a problem everywhere.
“ HMP Isle of Wight was a generally respectful institution with improvements at both Parkhurst and Albany. At Parkhurst this was particularly significant, reflecting sustained improvement over a number of years. Staff-prisoner relationships were better and there had been improvements in health care which was now more consistent, although there were delays in accessing some services. The promotion of diversity had improved but gaps remained. Support for the high numbers of older prisoners and those with disabilities was generally good, but black and minority prisoners across the three sites, and especially at Parkhurst, expressed negative perceptions about their treatment.
“ The environment varied greatly across the sites and within them. There was some good accommodation at Albany and Camp Hill but we also saw overcrowded shared cells and poor shared amenities. Of particular concern was the continued use of the automated ‘night san’ toilet arrangements at Albany. The prison was trying to mitigate the worst impact of these arrangements but they remained unacceptable and degrading.
“ Albany continued to operate a reasonable regime with little unemployment, but matters had worsened at Parkhurst and remained poor at Camp Hill. There was enough activity for all, but much of it was limited and low skilled and the skills attained were rarely accredited. At Camp Hill we found that nearly 80 prisoners were recorded as unemployed, which is unacceptable in a training prison. The provision of education was just satisfactory across the prison and vocational training opportunities were too limited. There had been some improvement to the amount of time out of cell at two of the sites but slippage in routines was far too common and association was regularly cancelled.
“ Resettlement arrangements remained little changed and insufficient, despite some improvement in strategic management. Offender management for the majority of prisoners properly addressed risk management and reduction, but the motivation and engagement that usually follow meaningful and regular contact by offender supervisors was lacking. This had a particular impact on indeterminate sentence prisoners, as well as others trying to progress through their sentence, and required more drive and focus in the prison.
“ Our overall findings at the Isle of Wight are mixed. Our healthy prison tests show continued and significant variation between sites: there is some improvement at Albany; some deterioration at Parkhurst and little change at Camp Hill. As we indicated last time, these variations are the best evidence of the challenge in making these disparate establishments a coherent whole. We were shown specific and particular plans to advance the project, but we are aware of scepticism among both staff and prisoners about the future. We have highlighted a number of issues in this report that we believe should be prioritised to help achieve this goal.”
Nick Hardwick July 2012
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Click Here to read the full report
by HMCIP: 4–15 October 2010 - Announced inspection
Report Dated: January 2011
Published: 23rd March 2011
“In 2009, largely in the search for efficiencies, the Prison Service ambitiously clustered the three Isle of Wight prisons under a single governor. Each site is a significant challenge in its own right and each has been criticised by us previously: Parkhurst is a category B prison with a chequered history, also holding a few local remand prisoners; Albany is a category B prison holding mainly sex offenders; and Camp Hill is a category C training prison. So amalgamating such disparate prisons was fraught with risk, not least that managers would be distracted by the upheaval from delivering the fundamental improvements that we have frequently called for in the past. It is to the considerable credit of the senior management team that this full announced inspection found at least some progress.
“ Prisoners reported improvements in safety at both Parkhurst and Albany but a deterioration at Camp Hill, where illegal drugs appeared endemic and, in consequence, too many prisoners sought sanctuary in the segregation unit. Conversely, both Parkhurst and Albany had taken steps to reduce their disproportionate use of segregation. Parkhurst had also safely integrated its regime, mixing vulnerable and ordinary prisoners. Overall, suicide and self-harm prevention issues were generally well managed. Use of force across the prison remained high, not all of it apparently justified, and we were particularly concerned by a number of examples of inappropriate use of special accommodation.
“ Accommodation was generally satisfactory, with the glaring exception of Albany’s poorly functioning automatic night sanitation arrangements, which remained unacceptable and degrading. There had been considerable management efforts to improve staff prisoner relationships, with notable progress at Parkhurst, but the quality of personal officer schemes remained variable. The management of diversity issues also varied markedly. Faith services were good. Primary health care was in need of urgent improvement but mental health services were good.
“ Time out of cell and levels of purposeful activity varied. Overall, there was not enough education, training and work to keep prisoners purposefully occupied, too many prisoners were unemployed and not enough focus was placed on vocational qualifications. It was particularly unsatisfactory that we found a quarter of prisoners locked in their cells during the core day at Camp Hill, despite its avowed training role. Moreover, the quality of learning and skills at Camp Hill was inadequate, although better at Parkhurst and good at Albany. Access to library facilities varied, but PE had improved with clustering.
“ Resettlement and offender management remained underdeveloped across the prison, despite some excellent offending behaviour programmes, especially at Albany. The management of public protection issues was generally good, but work with indeterminate sentenced prisoners varied and was particularly underdeveloped at Camp Hill. There were some good, basic reintegration services but there was considerable scope for further improvement, particularly to develop arrangements to maintain contact with families and friends.
“ HMP Isle of Wight is, in many ways, the sum of its three disparate parts: Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill prisons. However, the single senior management team has worked hard to combat the many frailties and unique – and sometimes negative – cultures of the three sites, and has had some success. Thus Parkhurst, which was the subject of coruscating previous criticism from the Inspectorate, has demonstrated considerable improvements in terms of safety and decency. There has also been some improvement at Albany. By contrast, Camp Hill appears to have slipped off the management’s radar and has deteriorated significantly in terms of both safety and its core training function.
“ This inconsistent progress exemplifies the challenges facing HMP Isle of Wight: it is now a huge prison, with a large number of inherited weaknesses. Some of these have been addressed but many more remain. Moreover, on the final day of the inspection the prison’s governor, who had been with the cluster since its inception, announced his resignation to join the private sector. This has left an enormous prison with a huge, unfinished agenda for change facing a difficult economic future under new leadership. The National Offender Management Service will need to ensure that HMP Isle of Wight and its managers are well supported if the progress we found, albeit inconsistent, is to be sustained and the many remaining issues addressed.”
Nick Hardwick January 2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Click here to read the full report
Independent Monitoring Board
By law every prison and immigration removal centre must have an Independent Monitoring Board. IMBs in prisons derive their responsibilities from the Prison Act 1952 (Section 6). Prison Rules dealing with IMBs are numbers; 74 to 80
IMBs were known as ‘Boards of Visitors’ and are still referred to in the legislation under their old titles, although this is likely to change in the near future.
The Independent Monitoring Board for each establishment is made up of independent and unpaid volunteers from the local area. They monitor the day-to-day life in the establishment and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. Members have unrestricted access to all areas of the prison at all times and can talk to any prisoner they wish, out of sight and hearing of a members of staff. They visit all areas such as; kitchens, workshops, accommodation blocks, recreation areas, healthcare centre and chaplaincy.
If a prisoner or detainee has an issue that they have been unable to resolve through the usual internal channels, they can place a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. Problems might include concerns over lost property, visits from family or friends, special religious or cultural requirements, or even serious allegations such as bullying. In addition, if something serious happens at the prison, for example a riot or a death in custody, IMB members may be called in to attend and observe the way in which it is handled.
IMB members sample food, can attend adjudications and should visit people held in the segregation unit. They must also be kept informed on such issues as the use of restraints.
The IMB meets regularly, usually once per month, and has an elected Chair and Vice Chair. Members work together as a team to raise any matters of concern and to keep an independent eye on the prison.
- to read the latest IMB reports for any prison.
Click on the year and then select the prison.
Information in this section has been kindly provided by the individual prison and the Ministry of Justice. This is supplemented with information from various government websites, Inspectorates and IMB reports and specialist departments within the Prison Service, government, and regional assemblies/parliaments.
Some of the data is published retrospectively: IMBs/Visiting Committees publish their reports up to 6 months after the end of the reporting period and at different times throughout the year, HMCIP publish their reports up to 6 months after the inspection. Population and performance figures are the latest published but can be considerably out of date.
Please Note: Information is constantly changing: The information on our website is regularly checked but if you have additional information, or if you believe that any of our information is incorrect or any links appear to fail please click on ‘Contact’, below.
Before acting upon any information you are advised to contact the prison directly to ensure there have been no recent changes.
Last Update: June 2013