Blundeston: Inspectors hail changes at prison as a ‘credit’ to staff
A NORTH Suffolk prison has received the seal of approval from inspectors who say the site has implemented a series of improvements following a critical report.
A report published by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) says the category C Blundeston Prison, near Lowestoft, provides a good standard of care and regime for its 524 prisoners.
And the report goes on to say that the prison and its staff have overcome previous challenges which had seen it fail in a number of areas following an inspection by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons.
In a report published in July 2011, the inspectorate said significant numbers of prisoners felt unsafe, there was poor sanitation and services for foreign prisoners were poor.
However the latest IMB inspection report praises the governor and his staff for turning the prison around after an action plan was drawn up following the previous damning verdict of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons.
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It also praises the prison’s workshop, which scooped a national award for the training available, a new anti-bullying strategy and how Blundeston Prison is involved in three separate programmes to tackle drug problems among inmates.
In the IMP report, Michael Cadman says: “The IMB would express the view Blundeston Prison provides a good standard of care and regime for the 524 prisoners accommodated there.
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“Some very astute management by the governor and his senior staff management team, continued with the highly professional work of staff at all levels has worked to provide this good standard of care, in spite of the continuing reduction in funding due to the financial constraints imposed on the Prison Service by the Government.
“Some 35% of uniformed staff have been lost in the past two to three years.”
The report also praises the prison’s workshop, which scooped a national award for the training available to prisoners, a new anti-bullying strategy, and the prison’s involvement in three separate programmes to tackle drug problems among inmates.
“The improvement in the performance of the prison demonstrates shrewd and careful management, with a real understanding of the issues involved and how to resolve them,” says the report.
“The success in management has been matched by the performance of staff responding to the need to ensure that HMP Blundeston is a high performing prison and so secure its future.
“These comments do not mean that everything is perfect...but the performance is a credit to the professionalism of all levels of prison staff.”