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: 31.0 (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: £17,800,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £83,685
*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Yvonne Fovargue (Labour)
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.
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: 01942 855000 ext 5103
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: 6 - 8 September 2011 - Unannounced short follow-up inspection
Published: January 2012
CONTINUES TO PROGRESS
“This follow-up inspection was carried out almost two years after an inspection which reported that Hindley was performing reasonably well against our healthy prison tests of safety and respect, and well against the tests of purposeful activity and resettlement. It was pleasing to find that progress continued to be made in all four areas.
“ There were a number of problems confronting the establishment which were not necessarily within its control. Lengthy waits at court and late arrivals at the establishment were still experienced by some young people. The lack of a national directive requiring staff to wear name badges meant that some staff refused to wear them. Both issues had implications for the safety of young people and need intervention from the Youth Justice Board and/or National Offender Management Service to ensure a resolution.
“ Hindley had, on the whole, coped well with the influx of young people following civil unrest in August 2011, some of whom found themselves considerable distances from home. Allocation to activities had been carried out well but we were concerned by the decision, seemingly based solely on operational pressures, to shorten initial vulnerability assessments, although the majority of young people said that they had felt safe on their first night.
“ Safeguarding procedures, and a well-resourced safeguarding team, continued to identify the most vulnerable young people quickly and there were good multidisciplinary arrangements to plan for their care. However, the newly introduced behaviour intervention plans, designed to address a wide range of problematic behaviour, as well as support vulnerable young people, had yet to be implemented to a sufficient standard. We were confident, despite this, that procedures were in place to help drive up standards. Robust quality assurance had helped to improve suicide and self-harm monitoring documentation.
“ Comprehensive behaviour management and violence reduction strategies had been published a week before the inspection but there was still work to do to develop the associated incentives and earned privileges scheme, as well as the instant rewards and sanctions scheme. In particular we were not assured that either scheme yet had the full confidence of young people in terms of the fairness of their application. This was especially true of young people from a black and minority ethnic background. Governance of the use of force was good and arrangements to debrief young people following an incident were now more consistent. In our survey, however, young people suggested concerns at how staff dealt with bullying – but revised anti-bullying procedures and a new system looked promising. The segregation unit now provided a better environment. A new policy promised intensive support for young people with behaviour problems rather than mere segregation, although more work needed to be done to achieve that aim.
“ Personal officer work had improved following a comprehensive review which had resulted in clear staff guidance, as well as information for young people telling them what they could expect from their personal officer. Consultation arrangements were very good and had included an event with the local Safeguarding Children Board which had addressed safety issues, complaints and relationships with staff.
“ There had been considerable improvement in the area of diversity, particularly in relation to young people with disabilities. There was more work to do with young people who were foreign nationals but individuals were generally well cared for.
“ Health care was excellent and the specialist provision delivered in the Willow Unit for young people with mental health needs continued to develop well.
“ There was still not enough time out of cell for young people at the weekends and time in the open air remained inadequate. However, significant progress had been made since the previous inspection in providing a planned programme of activities to supplement the education and vocational training programme. Considerable progress had been made to reduce the number of young people returned to residential units for poor behaviour using the findings of research commissioned from Liverpool University, and staff had been trained to deal more effectively with poor behaviour. Attendance at education and training had improved greatly. Achievement of vocational qualifications had increased, with a high success rate of 96%. More young people were attending PE and accredited courses had been introduced.
“ A good deal of progress had been made in the area of resettlement. The use of release on temporary licence had increased considerably. Attendance at training planning meetings had improved and targets in training plans were more applicable to the individual. A needs analysis had been carried out in order to deliver more relevant programmes and a high number of young people attended programmes as a consequence. Resettlement pathways were well addressed and particularly good efforts were being made to improve contact with families through a new strategy to promote positive links.
“ Much of the progress we have reported was based on recent reviews and revisions of policies and procedures. To that extent they still needed to be embedded and tested. However, we were impressed with the range of quality assurance procedures in place, which we hope will ensure that the intended outcomes are achieved.”
Nick Hardwick October 2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Click Here to read the full report
Report on the pre-opening inspection of HMYOI Hindley - March 2009
“In December 2008, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and the National Offender Management Service announced that, in order to focus better on the needs of their respective populations, Hindley and Lancaster Farms young offender institutions would cease being split sites for young people under 18 and those aged 18 to 21. Instead, Lancaster Farms would become a dedicated facility for those aged 18 to 21 and Hindley would be dedicated to those under 18. Indeed, with an operational capacity of 440 young people, Hindley would become the largest dedicated juvenile facility in Europe.
“As part of an innovative service level agreement with the YJB, this Inspectorate agreed to undertake an independent inspection of Hindley to assess its preparedness for the proposed re-role. The service level agreement deferred entirely to the independence of the Inspectorate and left the choice of methodology of the inspection to the discretion of the Chief Inspector.
“As neither building work nor the re-role were complete by the time of the inspection, we explored Hindley’s preparedness essentially by assessing its revised policies and procedures against our independent criteria, Juvenile Expectations. In particular, we were concerned to assess how far the proposed policies and procedures appeared to mitigate the many risks that such a large juvenile establishment will face as it seeks to address the numerous needs and vulnerabilities of the young people in its care.
“Our conclusions cannot be anything other than supposition. For example, it is impossible to predict how well these revised policies will be implemented or indeed whether other factors may intervene to hamper the re-role. Nor will the theoretical assessments in this inspection fetter our ability to criticise what we find when we return once the re-role is complete and our full outcome-based methodology is deployed.
“Nevertheless, we were impressed by the clear vision of managers, their energy and their attempts to engage the whole staff group in the work required to successfully deliver the new Hindley. Most revised policies showed promise and had an appropriately child-centred approach. However, policies are merely a starting point. Success will depend on managers’ ability to ensure a properly trained and committed staff, who are carefully supervised to implement effectively the new policy aspirations. We will return in October to assess the reality of the new Hindley.”
Anne Owers June 2009
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: January 2014