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Reports published 20 May

Reports on inspections of HMP Buckley Hall and HMP/YOI Brinsford

HMP Buckley Hall

Type of inspection: full inspection

Dates of inspection: 12-23 February 2024

Summary of findings:  Excellent staff-prisoner relationships underpinned much of the prison’s success. Key workers provided meaningful support to young adults, care leavers, prisoners serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) or those with additional complex needs and the Hive, a designated area in the health care unit, offered a wide range of therapeutic activities and initiatives.

Buckley Hall was not fulfilling its core function as a training prison, with almost a third of men locked up during the working day and insufficient spaces in education, skills and work to meet the needs of the prison population. Many prisoners still lived in cramped conditions and cells, particularly on the induction unit, were grubby.

Points to note: Patients requiring assessment under the Mental Health Act waited too long for a decision on their needs, with one patient held in the segregation unit for over 100 days. Rates of self-harm were much higher than at the previous inspection and were still rising.

Read the report: HMP Buckley Hall

HMP/YOI Brinsford

Type of inspection: independent review of progress

Dates of inspection: 8-10 April 2024

Summary of findings: After promising work to address Brinsford’s culture, prisoners told inspectors they felt safer and middle managers said the atmosphere in the jail had improved substantially. Recorded rates of violence among prisoners remained high but were slowly falling over the last six months.

Prisoner attendance at education was compromised by staff absences and course closures, the regime caused most prisoners to arrive late to their activities and the range of work available still did not meet the needs of the population.

Showers on the main residential wing were still in a very poor condition, with wood rotting away, mildew and, in some, infestations of small flies.

Points to note: The use of PAVA was high and governance around it was weak. Poor public protection work was exacerbated by the pressure to release prisoners with outstanding needs as part of the government’s early release scheme. However, innovative approaches to reducing prisoners’ reliance on sedative medication had been effective.

Read the report: HMP/YOI Brinsford