Prison praised for rehabilitating offenders

Inspectors have praised work at HMP Warren Hill Picture: Phil Morley

Inspectors have praised work at HMP Warren Hill Picture: Phil Morley - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk prison has been praised for how it rehabilitates offenders - but there are still concerns about the number of prisoners recalled to jail.

Members of the prison's Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) visited HMP Warren Hill in Hollesley two or three times a week between June 2018 and May 2019.

In their annual report, members said they were pleased with what they saw at the Suffolk prison, praising the work done to help rehabilitate prisoners.

"During the reporting year, Warren Hill was rated as the top-performing prison in the country, according to the Prison Service's own monitoring measures," read the report.

"The board is impressed by the prison's continuing creative commitment to developing as a rehabilitative community, and agrees that this is an establishment that can be held up as an example to others."

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They were also pleased with what they described as the "general sense of decency, wellbeing and positive personal development" that they found at the prison, adding that staff showed a clear sense of purpose and dedication.

The cultural opportunities and artistic achievements at the prison were also highlighted.

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Yet despite the praise, board members still noted a number of areas for improvement.

One of the main concerns raised by inspectors was the number of prisoners being recalled, with around 38% of those released in the past year having returned to custody.

The report noted that nearly all of the prisoner recalls were as a result of a breach of licence conditions by the men, rather than from committing a new crime.

"Warren Hill recognises this and is working to provide more relevant opportunities for residents coming to the end of their sentence," read the report.

The report also raised concerns about the time taken to for some staff to receive clearances.

"We would welcome an explanation of such delays, which we understand to be part of a wider problem that needs addressing centrally by the Prison Service and Ministry of Justice," read the report.

Overall, board members were pleased with the prison's vision over the past year and the approach of staff to achieving a peaceful environment.

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