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HMYOI BRINSFORD Prison Regime Info


New Road Featherstone WV10 7PY image of HMYOI BRINSFORD prison

Phone No.

01902 533 450

Governor / Director

Carl Hardwick


Male YOI


West Midlands

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single cells and single cells doubled up

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Josephine Chapman
Vice Chair: John Dearden

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Brinsford is a modern young offender institution and a remand centre for young adult prisoners aged between 18 and 21, next to HMP Featherstone. Some people subject to immigration control are also detained. It has 5 wings and also an Intervention & Assessment Unit and an Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) unit. In 2008 an additional residential unit and activity centre were built which increased the population and the range and quantity of vocational training available.


Its purpose built to hold young people either on remand or awaiting appearance at magistrates or Crown courts or who are convicted or sentenced. Brinsford forms part of the Prison Service’s Juvenile Estate and holds those on remand and those sentenced under detention training orders (DTOs).


It is a modern establishment designed and constructed in a single phase on a green field site acquired from the Ministry of Defence.

The site already accommodated HMP Featherstone and opened in November 1991. In 2002 two additional education blocks were built.

In 2008 an additional residential unit and activity centre were built which increased the population and the range and quantity of vocational training available. This has resulted in a reduction of young people places and increase in sentenced young adult places.

5 Residential Units, split into 8 wings.

  • Residential 1 (Alder House) – Sentenced and Remand Young People (including Young People's induction)
  • Residential 2 (Beech House) – Sentenced Young Adults
  • Residential 3 – Young Adult Trials and Sections
  • Residential 4 – Young Adult Inductions and Remands
  • Residential 5 (with in cell showers) – Sentenced Young Adults

Single cells are sometimes used for dual occupancy; all have integral sanitation, television and electricity.

Reception criteria:
Unconvicted and convicted 18 – 21 years (Young Adults).


Unconvicted and convicted 15 – 18 years (Young People).



Own bedding
Own clothes
Television (£1 single / 50p double)



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08:15 - 12:15, 13:45 - 16:45 & 18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15, 13:45 - 16:45 & 18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15, 13:45 - 16:45 & 18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15, 13:45 - 16:45 & 18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15, 13:45 - 16:45 & 18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 16:45


08:15 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 16:45



18:00 - 19:45


18:00 - 19:45


18:00 - 19:45


18:00 - 19:45


18:00 - 19:45


08:15 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 16:45


08:15 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 16:45

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Large sports hall marked out for football, badminton, basketball, volleyball, indoor hockey, as well as a climbing wall, fully equipped weights, cardiovascular, showering and changing facilities.

Full size Astroturf football pitch, grass sports field.

Aerobics; fitness room.


Sports available include;

Circuit Training
Light Circuit Training
Soft Tennis
Weight Loss programme
Weight Training

The PE department also delivers educational courses at entry level and level 1. These courses are Active IQ and first aid at work.

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Every day from Residential Units and Education

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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 Brinsford is: Phillip Seadon

Full-time Muslim Chaplain. Part-time Anglican and Free Church Chaplains.

Facilities are made available for all other faiths.

There is a light and well presented Chapel able to seat 200 and a World Faith Room with facilities for ablutions, able to accommodate 70.

One multi-denominational church service held on Sundays, Roman Catholic Mass held on Saturday morning, Muslim service held on Friday afternoons, Sikh Service held on Wednesdays, and a Buddhist service fortnightly held on Wednesdays.

The Chaplaincy Team visit all new young people/young adults on induction. Alpha groups visit the establishment weekly in term time. Regular outside visiting ministry teams and bands aid worship. The chapel also host concerts, Drama groups, art groups, bereavement support, crisis support. Multi outside and inside agencies and inside groups are hosted for conferences and training.

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Dentist Availability


Optician Availability

Yes: Frequency not disclosed

Physio Availability

Yes: Frequency not disclosed

Podiatry Availability

Yes: Frequency not disclosed

Acupuncture Availability

YPSMA and CARATS refer as required

Stop Smoking Availability

YPSMS deliver one session per week


As required

InReach Availability

As required


Twenty four hour Registered Nurse Healthcare provision including an 11 bed in patient facility. Accommodation is provided in 11 single cells but plans are in place to convert two of these cells to shared accommodation.

The Healthcare Department comprises a clinical substance misuse team, primary mental health team, primary care team and inpatient team.

Medical cover is currently provided by two separately commissioned contracts, one for it's in hours service and the other for out of hours.

A GP surgery is provided 6 days per week, Sunday - Friday. The secondary care, Inreach mental health team comprises full time CPNs and Social Worker in addition to sessional Psychiatrist, Psychologist and Occupational Therapist.

Dental care is provided by two dentist sessions per week and a part time dental nurse to provide additional dental triage and dental health promotion. Optician, podiatry and physiotherapy are available either by clinical referral or request.


NHS Healthcare Information for Brinsford

Prison Healthcare Manager: Simon Newman
Tel: 01902 532450

PCT: South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust
West Midlands Strategic Health Authority

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS is there to help when you need advice, or wish to make a complaint. As a patient, relative or carer PALS provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns that you may have about any aspect of your NHS care.

The service aims to:
• advise and support patients, their families and carers
• provide information on NHS services
• listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries
• help sort out problems quickly on your behalf

PALS acts independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and where appropriate, relevant organisations to negotiate prompt solutions. If necessary they can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.

Contact Information

Tel: 01543 465106 or 01543 412929
Email: PALS@southstaffspct.nhs.uk

There is also a Dental Helpline for ALL NHS dental enquiries: 01702 226668



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The Manchester College
The Manchester College, Offender Learning Directorate, Fielden Compus, Burlow Manor Road M1 3HB
Tel: 0800 068 8585

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
JHP Group Ltd
Sutherland House, Matlock Road, Foleshill, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 4JQ
Tel: 024 7666 7891

In-Training and Development Organisation provide Information, Advice and Guidance.

There are 31 full-time, 29 part-time teaching staff and 14 full-time learning support assistants.

Courses offered include:

Basic Education
Cleaning Science
Computer Skills
Key Skills - Communication & Application of Numbers
Life & Social Skills
Literacy/Numeracy (Pre entry, Entry Level, Level 1 and 2)Maths
Open University
Painting & Decorating
Practical Crafts
Social & Life Skills (Entry Level, Level 1 and 2)
Visual Art

Opening times are 08:45 - 11:45 and 13:45 - 16:45 Monday to Friday.

The environment is light and airy in a 2 storey department with many artwork displays.

The Acorn Unit is available for the use of the young people and provides a mixture of practical and academic classes.

The Oak Unit is available for the use of the young adults and provides education and resettlement courses.

The opening of the Rowan Centre, will provide opportunities to learn new skills in plastering and tiling, Media, Radio, Business Skills, Carpentry, Bricklaying and mentoring.


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


To read their latest report click here

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Employment includes;

Industrial Cleaning
Painting & Decorating
Sports Studies


Qualifications available include;

ICT Clait
NOCN & OCN qualifications
BICS Industrial Cleaning.



Radio Project



Paining & Decorating


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
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
Diploma for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery (QCF)
Diploma in Painting and Decorating (QCF)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 2)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 3)
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Foundation Personal Finance
ICT Skills for Life
Introductory Radio Production
IT Systems Support - PC Maintenance
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
NQF - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW D
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW E
NQF - Level 1, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
NQF - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 2, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
Practical Horticulture Skills (QCF)
Progression (QCF)
QCF provision - Entry Level, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
QCF provision - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care (SSA 3), PW E
QCF provision - Level 1, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
QCF provision - Level 1, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7), PW A
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - ESOL

Using IT (ECDL Part 2 Unit E)


Current wage for employed

£4.00 - £12.00


£4.00 / £7.00 / £12.00 (IEP based)

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HMYOI Brinsford run a number short duration PSO4350 approved, Effective Regime Interventions, specifically developed to meet the needs of the population (an annual needs analysis is undertaken). These are:
Alcohol and Offending
Anger Management
Stop, Think, Change
Tackling Problems Effectively


A 25 session group work programme (plus 6 individual sessions) designed specifically for young people to explore the effects of thinking on behaviour. It aims to increase group members: interpersonal problem solving, creative thinking, self control, social skills, critical reasoning and social perspective taking. It also looks at the values held by group members.

Anger Management Programme

A 5 session group work programme looking at identifying triggers which lead to angry outbursts, the relationship between thinking and behaviour, introducing and practicing strategies to reduce anger and developing strategies to challenge irrational thoughts.

Coping Skills

A 7 session group work programme which aims to provide group members with appropriate coping techniques, to reduce the incidence and prevalence of self harm/ suicidal behaviour, to improve social interaction and institutional behaviour.

General Offending Behaviour Group (GOBG)

A 4 session group work programme which encourages group members to explore their offending behaviour, identify triggers to offending and explore the consequences of offending. The programme aims to encourages victim awareness and support group members in setting goals to change their behaviour.

Motivating Offenders to Rethink Everything (MORE)

A 4 session group work programme which aims to motivate group members to explore and re-think how they view and react to situations. Group members are encouraged to look at situations from all angles and to consider others points of view. The programme introduces problem solving and strategies to challenge irrational thinking.

In addition to the above, a one to one intervention is offered on a limited basis for those young people / young adults unable to engage in the prison regime due to anger management or coping skills deficits or to address behaviour unable to be explored in a group environment. One to one interventions are offered to improve a young persons/young adults strategies for coping, anger management, social skills and problem solving.

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Employment training at Rodbaston College
Community work for the Forrest Enterprise on Cannock Chase
Banardos charity shop.


Various outside organisation work at Brinsford including:

  • CARAT Team
  • Probation
  • Trailblazers
  • CAB
  • JHP
  • Samaritans
  • De Paul Trust


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits


No of Visitors Permitted


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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: 28.9 (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: £15,000,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £47,853
*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
CONSTITUENCY: Staffordshire South
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Gavin Williamson (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



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.

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: 01902 532450 ext 2532

Brinsford say;

"Brinsford has a residential social worker who is employed by Staffordshire Local Authority to fulfil the various statutory obligations relating to children and young people under the age of 18 years who are in custody. The social workers main areas of work are, Children in Need, Looked After Children, Child Protection, where there are concerns that a child is suffering or likely to suffer harm and if a child is seriously injured or dies whilst in custody. Under the umbrella of safeguarding we take the lead in, anti-bullying/anti-violence, suicide prevention and self-harm, child protection, public protection, and more recently restorative justice. Since January 2008 we have introduced a telephone line for those relatives, friends who may have concerns regarding any young person/young adult in our care."


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: 26 October – 11 November 2011 - unannounced full follow-up inspection
Published: March 2012

It was easy to see why many new arrivals felt unsafe on their first night

They said:
“This unannounced inspection followed up our inspection of late 2009. At that time Brinsford was a multi-functional establishment holding children and young adults. The juvenile function ended in January 2010 leaving the establishment as a young offender and remand facility for young adult prisoners. Located near Wolverhampton, 562 young men were held at the time of our inspection, originating predominantly from the West Midlands.

“ When we last visited we had concerns that Brinsford was unable to provide a sufficiently safe environment for those it held. Despite some evident improvements, this remained the case. Reception procedures were satisfactory but induction arrangements were weak and even allowing for the context of a local prison, we were concerned that some prisoners did not receive an effective induction. First night cells and accommodation for those on induction was also poor and urgently needed to be improved. It was easy to see why many new arrivals felt unsafe on their first night.

“ It was concerning that despite some clear improvement in procedures to deal with violence and bullying the total number of anti-social, violent and use of force incidents remained high. Just under half of prisoners reported to us that they had felt unsafe in Brinsford at some time during their stay. We took some confidence that local managers were focusing on the issue and appeared to be active in addressing the problem. The generally good quality of suicide and self-harm prevention measures at Brinsford suggested that if the same consistency of approach was applied to anti-bullying and violence reduction, further improvements could be made. Although it impacted relatively few prisoners, the services offered to those requiring drug and alcohol treatment interventions were impressive.

“ Issues concerning safety were not helped by the very poor quality of most of the accommodation. Accommodation was not easy to supervise, although our observations suggested staff did their best, helped in part by the introduction of CCTV across the residential units. With the exception of the newest wing, most accommodation was often dirty, poorly painted and poorly equipped. Emblematic of these conditions was the unacceptable state of many cell windows. Many had been burnt leaving them opaque and charred. Worse, many had been in this condition for years and we had criticised this before. As a feature it undermined all efforts to improve the environment.

“ Evidence, particularly in our survey, concerning the quality of staff-prisoner relationships was mixed, although our own observations reassured us. Many prisoners we spoke to also saw staff as one of the best features of the establishment. The quality of personal officer work was, however, limited. The prison’s approach to the promotion of diversity was, as we describe it in the body of this report, in a state of transition, although there was some cause for optimism. Work was in place to a varying degree to support the various strands of diversity, although the experiences and perceptions of prisoners from black and minority ethnic backgrounds needed to be addressed and improved. The environment in health care had been transformed, a factor that we believed had helped to support very good relationships in the department. Health care outcomes were also very good, with the department an exemplar of what might be achieved more broadly with a better quality of environment.

“ Time out of cell remained too limited and was fairly poor for most young men. Evening association was restricted to two evenings a week and over a third of prisoners remained locked in their cell during the working part of the day. The quality of learning and skills provision had improved since our last inspection and attendance was now better but still needed further improvement. There was some very good vocational training with high levels of learner achievement but limited opportunities for progression. Achievements in basic skills were less impressive and too many prisoners were recorded as unemployed. Library and PE provision was generally good.

“ The prison’s approach to resettlement was disappointing. Structures to steer strategy were not working and much in place across the resettlement pathways was underdeveloped and badly coordinated. There was no current needs analysis, basic custody screening on admission had stopped and pre-release coordination was limited. This lack of structure and coordination was mitigated in part by some reasonably good offender management work which was accessed by all, regardless of custodial status. There was some evidence that managers were beginning to get to grips with the frailties of the prison’s approach to resettlement.

“ There are many challenges to be faced in making this establishment a success. It is a sprawling and difficult place to supervise and holds a challenging and potentially volatile population. Brinsford now has the advantage of being able to concentrate on its young adult population and, despite our criticisms, the gradual improvement we discerned at our last inspection continues. Much more, in almost all areas, however, remains to be done. The establishment has, in our view, three priorities: reducing levels of violence, creating a better environment and developing a coherent approach to resettlement.”

Nick Hardwick January 2012
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click Here to read the full report

Previous Report 
by HMCIP: 30 November – 3 December 2009 - Unannounced short follow-up inspection

They said:
“This is the last report on the juvenile unit at Brinsford young offender institution. By the time of the inspection, it had been announced that young people would no longer be held there. Pressure on the over-18 estate, and falling numbers in the under-18 estate, had accelerated plans by the Youth Justice Board to move out of ‘split sites’, holding both under- and over-18 year olds.

“ Brinsford has been far from an ideal site for young people. The design and size of the units made it difficult to ensure safety, in spite of some noticeable improvements in culture and relationships between staff and young people. Nor are split sites ideal.
“ Nevertheless, there are some concerns about the precipitate decision to close the juvenile unit, which will mean that some young people are located further from home, and some will go to Werrington, an establishment that has not so far dealt with remanded prisoners, a more volatile and transient population.

“ It is welcome that the under-18 population in prisons has fallen considerably. It would be even more welcome if this provided an opportunity properly to plan for those young people who are in custody and to ensure that they are in smaller, more manageable units close to home.”

Anne Owers February 2010
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.


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: March 2012


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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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