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Staffordshire and West Mercia courts

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Report on an inspection visit to court custody facilities in Staffordshire and West Mercia by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (19 February – 2 March 2024)

What we found

Overall, staff were compassionate, patient and worked hard to support detainee welfare. However, detainees regularly arrived at court late due to limited cell capacity and long journeys, which delayed hearing start times. Searches of detainees were rarely based on individual risk assessment, meaning many were searched repeatedly and unnecessarily. Interpretation services were not used consistently to support detainees.

Points to note: Detainees discharged from prison at court did not have important personal possessions, such as door keys, and could not easily retrieve them. Despite the inspection being announced, cell environments were poor and there was a lack of facilities for detainees with impaired mobility or disabilities.