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HMP/YOI Hindley

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Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Hindley by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (21 November – 8 December 2023)

Hindley healthy prison scores

A bar graph showing HMP Hindley healthy prison outcomes in 2017 and 2023. Safety and respect remained the same at 'not sufficiently good', purposeful activity remained as 'poor' and preparation for release remained 'reasonably good'.

What we found

Inexperienced prison officers were struggling to manage a very challenging prison dominated by a ‘tsunami’ of drugs, high levels of violence and self-harm and failing infrastructure.

Hindley was facing serious staffing challenges, with a rate of attrition of officers in the top ten of prisons nationally, a high number leaving within their first year of employment. More than 40% of basic grade officers had less than one years’ experience, and 58% had less than two years. This very inexperienced cohort of officers were managing a very challenging population, with a high proportion of prisoners having links to organised crime, high levels of violence and self-harm and more than half of prisoners testing positive for illegal drugs during routine drug testing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, inspectors found that staff lacked confidence in challenging poor behaviour.

Hindley is facing an uphill battle: many prisoners arriving at the jail had an existing drug problem, and a large minority had known links to organised crime, so it’s unsurprising that the prison had a near tsunami of drugs. The situation was so bad that mandatory drug testing found more than half of prisoners were on drugs at any one time. Combined with the indolence, boredom and frustration created by a really poor regime, and some very inexperienced staff, it is no surprise that the prison just wasn’t safe enough.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Inspector of Prisons

Action plan