Jail starts calling prisoners ‘residents’ and cells ‘rooms’

HMP Warren Hill in Hollesley, Suffolk Picture: ARCHANT

HMP Warren Hill in Hollesley, Suffolk Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk prison now refers to its inmates as “residents”, governors have revealed.

Cells at HMP Warren Hill, in Hollesley near Woodbridge, are now called rooms to boost its commitment to “positive and productive relationships”, monitors said.

Decisions were made to use the term at the Category C prison, which had a population of 242 at the end of September, in the summer of last year.

Details of the rare move, adopted by only a handful of British prisons, were revealed the facility’s annual report for the year to the end of May.

Warren Hill was recently ranked the country’s top-performing prison, according to the establishment’s Independent Monitoring Board.

Praising attitudes at the jail, the IMB said it provides a safe and “pioneeringly constructive environment”.

Staff-prisoner relationships are excellent and there is a rich arts and cultural programme, including a book group, poetry reading and art exhibitions, the board found.

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Imaginative steps are being taken to help inmates adapt to life in the outside world when they are released, it said.

“The IMB has heard accounts of men after many years inside finding difficulty with everyday situations – such as negotiating London tubes and buses without an Oyster card,” the report said.

“The prison is responding creatively with in some cases a staff member accompanying the released resident on the first stage of their journey.”

Men are also offered release packs, complete with stamped addressed postcards, to update staff on their progress.

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