A Lancashire prison is said to be ‘improving’ following an unannounced inspection.
A report into HMP Garth said the category B prison in Ulnes Walton Lane, Leyland, did some good work with very challenging prisoners, but further improvements can be made.
The training prison, which holds up to 850 life-sentenced prisoners, prisoners serving four years and over and prisoners on indeterminate sentences for public protection, has made “sufficient progress” since its last inspection, but more needs to be done to improve resettlement.
Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons, said: “Sufficient progress has been made in all healthy prison areas at Garth, with the exception of resettlement, which is let down by the lack of progress on any recommendations made under the children and families pathway.
“We are aware of plans to address some of the shortfalls but it is disappointing that the prison has not acted more proactively to improve these services.”
The report reveals inspectors were pleased with the safety of the prison and that few prisoners were subject to suicide and self harm monitoring procedures.
The prison used “a range of suitable tactics” to reduce the supply of drugs and alcohol into the prison and officers and supervisors knew what was expected of them.
Older prisoners and those with disabilities were met with positive efforts to address their needs and health care was generally good.
Participation in education had increased and public protection work remained good.
However, inspectors had some concerns that a unit held prisoners with mental health problems alongside those needing protection from debts or gang affiliation, but had moved away from its previous focus on rehabilitation and its current purpose was unclear.
It also criticised strip search procedures, saying squat searches were automatically included where not always appropriate.
The report said planned use of force needed to be better monitored for quality and training purposes and although most workshops offered qualifications, learning progression was limited.
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said: “This is an encouraging report on a prison which is doing some good work with a challenging population.
“We are committed to providing prisoners with effective resettlement support and the Governor will ensure that the areas of concern are properly addressed.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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