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HMP RANBY Prison Regime Info


Straight Mile Retford Nottinghamshire DN22 8EU image of HMP RANBY prison

Phone No.

01777 862 000

Governor / Director

Graham Batchford


Male Cat. C


East Midlands

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Carole Gee
Vice Chair: Vacant

Visitor Info Page

HMP RANBY Visitor Info
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HMP Ranby is a category C adult male training prison.


The prison opened in 1971 on the site of a former army camp. Some of the old army billets are still used as residential accommodation for prisoners. However, there has been a recent expansion of the prison to include modern house blocks, which now comprise most of the living accommodation. Workshops, a new kitchen, library and education facilities have been added as part of previous expansions. The most recent expansion was the current C wing, which opened in March 2008. The recent expansion of the prison has enabled a larger number and variety of work places, including the conversion of the former CES and original C wing, into a painting and decorating workshop, health care building and the performance suite.


  • A wing – Eight spurs of 24 cells per spur. One spur has been developed for prisoners with mobility difficulties/older prisoners
  • B wing – Billet accommodation, all enhanced
  • C wing – TCM of 30 double cells
  • D wing – IDTS wing
  • E wing – General accommodation
  • F wing – Induction wing and general accommodation
  • G wing – General accommodation; this wing also contains the Listener suite
  • H wing – Drug-free wing
  • I wing – Drug-free/enhanced prisoner wing
  • J Wing – General accommodation; this wing also contains the constant watch cell
  • K wing – General accommodation

Open side
A wing is a 2-storey building built in July1983 with spurred single cell accommodation, and places for 192 prisoners. It has recently been decorated throughout, and offers a TV viewing room, a games room, toasters, and DVDs.

B wing consists of 8 refurbished army billets, holding 77 prisoners. In addition to the separate TV rooms on each billet, there is also a dedicated Snooker Room.

I Wing offers accommodation for 40 enhanced status prisoners in single cells with integral shower and toilet.

These wings form part of the Enhanced regime, and offer a Reward based approach on the open side of the establishment, including access to employment in the key work areas.

Privileges and property are set at a higher level than for those residing on the closed side of the jail. Prisoners on the open side are predominantly Enhanced on the IEP scheme, and more usually wishing to prove their potential for Cat D, HDC, and ROTL.

Closed side
C Wing was opened during March 2008. It consists of thirty double cells including in-cell showers and sanitation, with places for 60 prisoners. It is a high quality new-build which is quieter and suitable for the more responsible prisoners on the closed side. Excellent staff / prisoner relationships ensure the wing attains these high standards.

D, E, F and G wings have a mixture of single and double cells with integral sanitation for 116 prisoners on each wing.

D wing currently facilitates an IDTS (Intensive Drug Treatment Service) programme, where prisoners participate in all regime activities including education and work and other purposeful activity.

E wing has no specialised role, but all prisoners attend work, education and purposeful activity. All 3 levels of the IEP scheme are accommodated.

F and G wings have a mixture of single and double cells with integral sanitation for 116 prisoners on each wing.

F wing is the establishments' Induction wing. All new receptions complete a two week induction programme whilst residing on the wing. On completion, prisoners move to another residential unit within HMP Ranby to allow them to complete their sentence plan targets, and any vocational training.

G wing currently houses 116 prisoners. The lower level landing has been designed with all steel equipment i.e. toilet, sink etc. Currently prisoners of all three incentive levels reside on the wing.

H Wing has accommodation for 40 prisoners on drug rehabilitation programmes, in cells with integral shower and toilet.

J and K Wings accommodate 226 prisoners in a mixture of single and double cells some of which are constructed to safer cell standards.

Reception Criteria

Prior arrangement is necessary for the transfer of Lifers, IPP, Score 3 prisoners, and prisoners on open ACCTs. Initial OASys assessments & sentence plans should be completed where possible. Prisoners subject to parole must be within 6 months of their PED. Prisoners should have at least 3 months left to serve from arrival. Ranby does not impose any reception criteria based upon length of sentence. We prefer prisoners to have at least 3 months left to serve after arrival.


  • Hobbies kits during lock-up
  • In-cell power
  • Own bedding
  • Own clothes (Subject to status)
  • Playstation
  • Television (£1 per week)

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Mon: 08:15 - 12:30, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:30
Tue: 08:15 - 12:30, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:30
Wed: 08:15 - 12:30, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:30
Thu: 08:15 - 12:30, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:30
Fri: 08:15 - 12:30 & 13:45 - 17:15
Sat: 08:45 - 12:30 & 14:00 - 17:15
Sun: 08:45 - 12:30 & 14:00 - 17:15


Mon: 18:00 - 19:30
Tue: 18:00 - 19:30
Wed: 18:00 - 19:30
Thu: 18:00 - 19:30
Fri: 14:00 - 16:30
Sat: 08:45 - 11:30 & 14:00 - 16:30
Sun: 08:45 - 11:30 & 14:00 - 16:30

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Facilities include two Weight Training areas, one Multi-Activity area and Sports Hall.

Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Cricket nets
  • Five-a-Side
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Pilates
  • Remedial
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Sports Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training


Certified courses:

  • CSLA
  • OCN and NVQ in Sports and Recreation

Prison Team activities include;

  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Rugby Union
  • Volleyball

Access to the gym is dependent upon IEP level.

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A fully equipped Library with access to over 2 million publications via the Nottinghamshire County Council Library Service.

The Library is open Monday to Saturday.

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Every prison has a Chaplaincy department managed by a Co-ordinating Chaplain and supported by admin staff, other Chaplains and ‘Sessional Chaplains’ (faith leaders who visit for specific services or sessions). The Chaplaincy is considered an important part of the prison structure. When a prisoner arrives at a prison they are usually seen by a Chaplain within 24 hours and are invited to register as a specific religion (if they haven’t already done so) and can change their declared religion at any time.

The Chaplaincy does far more than just pastoral care; they often are able to lend radios, musical instruments and typewriters; they may take part in Sentence Planning and are available as a ‘listening ear’ and are able, sometimes, to help with domestic problems. Most Chaplaincies run various courses and activities which may or may not have a religious theme. Every prisoner has the right to follow their religious practices and attend Chapel for services pertaining to their declared faith (even when segregated).

The Chaplaincy are able to organise faith activities for all main religions (as recognised by the Prison Service; this does not, at present include Rastafarian as a specific religion) and contact faith representatives to visit individual or groups of prisoners for the purpose of religious activities. The chaplaincy can also intercede on matters of religious dress, diet and artefacts. A full list of permitted artefacts can be found in the Glossary Section under Religious Artefacts.

You can contact the Chaplaincy by letter or by telephoning the main prison number and asking to speak to the Chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy works as part of the prison and cannot, therefore, guarantee confidentiality (they can explain this to you in detail). Prisoners can contact the Chaplaincy in person or by Application.

Chaplaincy Statement of Purpose (HMPS)
The Chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and religious traditions by engaging all human experience. We will work collaboratively, respecting the integrity of each tradition and discipline. We believe that faith and the search for meaning directs and inspires life, and are committed to providing sacred spaces and dedicated teams to deepen and enrich human experience. We contribute to the care of prisoners to enable them to lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.

The Co-ordinating Chaplain at Ranby is: David Higgon

Full-time Anglican Chaplain. Part-time Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains. Facilities for;

  • Hindus
  • Jehovah Witnesses
  • Jewish
  • Mormons
  • Pagans
  • Sikhs

The Chaplaincy operates as a multi-Faith team representing CE, RC, Methodist , Muslim and the Salvation Army Minister. There are Visiting Ministers according to Faith needs.

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Prison Healthcare is now commissioned by NHS England:
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Link: How to make a complaint:
Complaints about Healthcare should be made first through the formal internal complaints system
There are seven Commissioning Trusts for ‘Offender Health’
East Midlands
East of England
Kent & Medway
North East
South West
Thames Valley
Yorkshire & Humber
Healthcare at this prison is commissioned by:
East Midlands Health & Justice Commissioning
(hosted by Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Area Team)
Primary care Provider:
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Duncan Macmillan House, Porchester Road, Nottingham  NG3 6AA
Tel; 0115 969 1300
Provider of Physical Health Care
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Provider of Mental Health Care
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust


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Lincoln College
Monks Road, Lincoln LN2 5HQ
Tel: 01522 876000

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
Lincoln College
Monks Road, Lincoln LN2 5HQ
Tel: 01522 876000

Strong emphasis on Skills for Life development including provision of reading/writing/language support in work areas; residential wings etc. Currently delivering over 90 different accredited qualifications from Entry Level to Masters Degree and above.


Classes include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Clait
  • Computer Studies
  • Cookery
  • Crafts
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Key Skills
  • Language
  • Life and Social Skills
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Numeracy
  • Open University
  • Pottery



OFSTED inspect education establishments from schools to colleges to prisons. They inspect education facilities within prisons and have inspected HMP Ranby.

Inspection judgements
Inspectors use a four-point scale to summarise their judgements about achievement and standards, the quality of provision, and leadership and management, which includes a grade for equality of opportunity.

Key for inspection grades

  • Grade 1 Outstanding;
  • Grade 2 Good;
  • Grade 3 Satisfactory;
  • Grade 4 Inadequate.

Click Here for further information on how inspection judgements are made.

Scope of the inspection
In deciding the scope of the inspection, inspectors take account of the provider’s most recent self-assessment report and development plans, and comments from the local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) or other funding body. Where appropriate, inspectors also consider the previous inspection report , reports from the inspectorates’ monitoring visits, and data on learners and their achievements over the period since the previous inspection.

Last Inspection Date: 15/02/2007


Summary of grades awarded

Achievement and standards and the quality of provision: 3
Employability and vocation training: 3
Equality of opportunity: 3
Leadership and management: 3
Literacy, numeracy and language support: 3
Personal and social development: 3

To read their report click here

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Prison Workshops
Contract Services x4
Engineering x3
Plastics x3
Data Entry
Woodwork x2

A range of full-time vocational training programmes is available which includes;

  • Information Technology
  • Plumbing
  • Joinery
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Catering
  • Permanent Way Renewals (railway training)
  • Fork Lift Truck
  • ‘Streetworks'.
  • Industrial Workshops and Land Based Amenities

Work areas include;

  • Catering
  • Clothing Exchange and Laundry
  • Contract Services Workshops;
  • Data Input.
  • Engineering Manufacturing
  • Gardening
  • Horticulture
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Land Based Amenities
  • Laundry
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plastics Manufacturing
  • Plumbing
  • Sports Studies
  • Textiles Manufacturing
  • Waste Management & Recycling
  • Woodwork Manufacturing

A range of work based qualifications delivered at Level 1 and 2 across work areas.

  • NVQ Level 1 - Polymer Processing
  • C&G Level 1 - Welding PMO - Level 3
  • C&G NPTC Level 1 - Horticulture
  • C&G Level 2 Competence Test on Mowers and Strimmers
  • Tractor Driving
  • Turf Maintenance Equipment
  • 2 Wheeled Tractors
  • Hedge Trimmers
  • Pesticides
  • C&G 6217 Level 1 - Basic Construction
  • NVQ HAB Levels 1 & 2
  • BICS Levels 1 & 2
  • C&G NVQ Level 2 - Permanent Way
  • C&G NVQ Level 2 - Fork Lift Truck
  • NRSWA - Level 2
  • Sports and Recreation - NVQ Levels 1, 2 & 4


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Art and Design
Basic Construction Skills
BTEC WorkSkills (QCF)
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (ECDL Part 1)
Certificate for IT users (ECDL Part 2)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Cleaning Operators' Proficiency Certificate
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
Diploma for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 2)
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Introduction to Personal Budgeting and Money Management (Entry 3)
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 2
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Manual Handling - Principles and Practice
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Education and Training (SSA 13), PW B
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW B
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 3, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
NVQ in Food Processing and Cooking
NVQ in Hospitality
OCN Entry Level, PW B, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW B, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW B, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 3, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
Preparing for a Business Venture
Principles of Manual Handling
Sanitary Cleaning Proficiency Certificate

Supervising Food Safety in Catering (QCF)


Current Wages


Employed: £4.48 - £21.56
Education: £8.02
Retired: £5.00
Long term sick: £5.00

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  • CALM - Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it
  • P-ASRO
  • TSP - Thinking Skills Programme

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Ranby has a dedicated Resettlement team that specialises in assisting prisoners with education, training, employment and accommodation upon release. There are links with providers of training and employment both locally and regionally and a Jobcentre Plus advisor based within the Prison to assist with all types of job searches and benefits enquires The Resettlement department also provides pre releases courses on CVs, letter writing, application forms and interview techniques.

  • Nottingham Working Links
  • Phoenix Derby
  • Working Links Leicester


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 16 years

No of Visitors Permitted

Maximum of 4 visitors

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Ministry of Justice Performance Rating for this prison: 3
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: 23.3 (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.

Annual Budget: £29,000,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £32,114
*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.

Parliamentary Information

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



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.


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

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.

Full inspections
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.

Escort inspections
Three escort inspections are conducted every year.

Pre-inspection visit
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.

The inspection
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
• work
• diversity
• resettlement

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

Post-inspection action
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:
5–9 March 2012 Announced inspection
Published: July 2012

Could be outstanding but for some important deficiencies

They said:
“HMP Ranby is a category C training prison in Nottinghamshire. It holds about 1,000 adult men on a large, sprawling site which makes it difficult to manage. Despite this, the prison delivers its core training and resettlement functions well overall. The prison had some excellent features but performance was undermined by some significant weaknesses, some of which were outside its direct control.

“ The prison had sufficient activity places for all its population and offered a very realistic working environment to most. Prisoners were positive about the opportunities to engage in a full working week which included night and shift working (although the prison needed to quickly sort out meal and sleeping arrangements for those on night shifts). The quality of some of the vocational training, such as the rail and street works workshop, was excellent and supervisors had a good rapport with the prisoners and a good knowledge of the industries concerned. A high proportion of prisoners progressed to employment or training on release.

“ Given the supply of sufficient high quality training and work places, it was frustrating that these were not fully utilised. The prison offered 936 activity places – but at any one time 300 or so of these were not used. We found a quarter of prisoners locked in their cells during the working day. Too many prisoners were turned away from workshops or did not take up optional education places. About half the prisoners had literacy and numeracy skills below level 1 – what you would expect of an 11-year-old. The workshops offered a good environment to address this in a practical context but the opportunity was not taken.

“ Resettlement had been a weakness in the past but was now generally good. There were some procedural weaknesses in offender management but in practice what happened on the ground worked well. Few prisoners left the prison without somewhere to stay and there was good support to help them find a job or training. Debt was a significant problem – and common sense would suggest it was directly linked to offending behaviour. There was high demand for the good debt and financial advice service and so it was a concern that long-term funding for this had been withdrawn and the future of the service was uncertain. There was good work with veterans. Visit arrangements were satisfactory.

“ Relationships between staff and prisoners were generally good. Most prisoners said they had a member of staff they could turn to with a problem and we observed friendly, mature interactions. Low staffing levels, however, limited the amount of contact. The external environment was good but too many small single cells had been doubled up and had graffiti, broken furniture and unscreened toilets. Prisoners complained it was difficult to get cleaning materials and some cells were grubby. Laundry facilities were disorganised and prisoners had problems getting enough clean clothes that fitted them. These issues were a particular problem on a prisoner’s first night. Some of these problems were reflected in complaints, which were overused for issues that should have been quickly sorted out informally. Prisoners lacked confidence in the applications process.

“ Diversity issues were generally well managed with personal, visible leadership by the governor. We were concerned to find that there appeared to be an unofficial cap on the number of prisoners attending religious services.

“ Prisoner movement around the prison was relaxed and the place felt peaceful. Most prisoners told us they felt safe but for a minority this was definitely not the case. Significant numbers of prisoners reported being victimised and this was often linked to gang and debt issues. Although the actual level of assaults was not high, staff reported reasonably high levels of bullying. A large number of prisoners were held in the segregation unit for their own protection and they were too often ‘shipped out’ to another prison without the underlying issues being addressed. There were generally insufficient efforts to reduce levels of violence. Levels of self-harm were low and suicide and self-harm procedures were reasonable, but their use was increasing and the prison had not explored why. There had been no self-inflicted deaths since the last inspection.

“ There were high levels of drug and alcohol availability despite good efforts by the prison to address this. Almost a quarter said it was easy to get alcohol in the prison, compared with 4% in similar establishments, and there had been 75 finds of ‘hooch’ brewed in the prison in the previous six months. This had serious consequences for individual prisoners and staff – one man in segregation for possession of alcohol had lost his place on one of the best workshops and an almost guaranteed offer of a job as a result. There was an alcohol-related disturbance shortly after the inspection. The random drug testing rate was low but drug finds indicated that prisoners were using substances like ‘Spice’, a synthetic cannabinoid, which did not show up on the tests. It was a particular concern that one in 10 of the population – amounting to about 100 prisoners – said they had developed a problem with diverted medicines that had been administered by the prison itself. Prescribing practices were weak. Almost a third of prisoners were on potentially abusable medication which they were given ‘in possession’ but had nowhere to store safely, so there were many opportunities for diversion and theft.

“ Poor prescribing practice was one element of very poor health care commissioned by NHS South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. The prison had tried to address this prior to the inspection but without success. The care provided by individual medical staff was good. There were a high number of missed appointments but long waiting lists for an appointment. There was no out of hours service and unqualified prison staff had to judge whether a prisoner who complained of being unwell at night should be taken out of the prison to hospital with all the disruption that entailed, or told to wait until the next morning when a nurse or doctor would be available to see him. In our view, this seriously compromised prisoner safety. At the heart of these issues were poor partnership arrangements and the partnership board, which should have provided a forum for sorting them out, had not met for more than six months. We raised these issues formally with the Trust immediately following the inspection and they responded promptly to our concerns. We will return to check the effectiveness of this response.

“ HMP Ranby could be outstanding and has some features comparable prisons would envy. Most prisoners have good quality work and training opportunities, together with effective resettlement help, that are provided in a safe and decent environment. However, for a minority there is an undercurrent of victimisation, frustration sorting out some of the practical necessities of prison life and a lack of encouragement or opportunity to take advantage of the work and training opportunities available. Some problems are difficult for the prison itself to address – the big site and thin staffing levels make it difficult to get on top of alcohol availability, and poor partnership arrangements with the health care commissioner have made it difficult to reduce the availability of tradable medication and improve other elements of health care. I hope this report will assist all those involved in the delivery of services at HMP Ranby to build on the prison’s strength and deliver its full potential.”

Nick Hardwick May 2012
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 IMDs 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.


CLICK HERE - 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: January 2014

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December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
> A search for any trace of the governmentís Rehabilitation Revolution
> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
> Doctor Frankenstein and his monster
> Human Rights: truth and lies
> Scapegoating the undeserving poor
> Interview
> The first Miscarriage of Justice
> Month by Month - December 2014
> The 2014 Longford Trust Awards
> Is it all in the mind
> Time
> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
> Paperwork is the key
> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
> Insider Dealing
> Christmas Stories
> Christmas Messages
> Christmas Messages

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