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Reports published 8 April

Reports on inspections of HMP Five Wells and an escort flight removing detainees to Albania.

HMP Five Wells

Type of inspection: full inspection

Dates of inspection: 2-12 January 2024

Summary of findings:  Opening in early 2022, this was Five Wells’ first inspection. After a period of unsettled leadership, the recently appointed director brought experience and stability.

While incidents of violence were falling and staff felt safer, staff inexperience and lack of confidence meant low-level poor behaviour went unchallenged and too few key work sessions were taking place. The regime remained limited and the quality of education, skills and work was not good enough. The prison also continued to face challenges with the use of illicit drugs.

Points to note: The living conditions were excellent and access to facilities was reasonable. The use of force and segregation was low, but rates of self-harm were extremely high, with not enough being done to reduce this.

Read the report: HMP Five Wells

Escort and removal to Albania

Dates of inspection: 20-21 December 2023

Summary of findings:  Inspectors found operational practices to be generally well organised, but too many Albanian detainees waited in detention for several weeks despite wanting to return voluntarily. However, efforts had been made to reduce total journey times. Leaders had acted on, and continued to act on, the staff culture and interactions with detainees were mostly respectful and positive.

Points to note:  Information about vulnerability and risk was not clearly communicated to escort staff or paramedics and the opening of detainees’ medical notes without their consent breached medical confidentiality. The use of interpreters needed better oversight.

Read the report: Albania escort and removals inspection report