Ministry of

Document Sample
Ministry of Powered By Docstoc
					      Ministry of
                                                                   102 Petty France

                                                                   T 020 3334 3626
                                                                   F 020 3334 4455
                                                                   E genera!.quenesjustice gst
  Mr George Bingham
  Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board
  HMP Bristol
  19 Cambridge Road
  BS7 8PS

                                                                    February 2009

  AUGUST 2007 JULY 2008

 Thank you for your Board’s report for the above period. I am grateful to you
                                                                              and your
 colleagues for all the hard work that has been put into compiling it.

 I was pleased to read of the dramatic improvements that have been made
                                                                                 at Bristol
 over the year, particularly in diversity. Your report highlights five issues specifi
                                                                                      cally for
 my attention, which I shall address below. National Offender Management Servic
 (NOMS) comments on other matters raised in your report are attached as an

NOMS is increasing capacity in response to the current prison population
and the projected rise in the prison population. The Capacity Programme
                                                                            will provide a
total of 20,000 places by 2014, including up to three prison clusters holdin
                                                                            g around
2,500 prisoners each. To date, over 4,200 places have been delivered
                                                                         as part of the
Capacity Programme, including over 2,700 places in 2008. It is planne
                                                                        d that over 2,300
additional places will be delivered in 2009.

Special Need Prisoners
All prisoners who require extra support because they are vulnerable are
                                                                               assessed for
the safer custody unit. All first night prisoners should go to the first night
                                                                               centre, or if
they require detoxification support. to the specialised detoxification wing.
                                                                                These areas
will not be used for general accommodation while special need prisone
                                                                             rs are in the

Health care
Healthcare beds have been included in the Operational Capacity figure
                                                                         for many years
at Bristol and other establishments. This is done to maximise the occupancy
                                                                              and has
been particularly necessary during the recent rise in population. Hopefully
                                                                            as new
   accommodation comes online within the estate this requirement will be used less
   frequently. The occupancy of healthcare is managed daily to ensure that prisoners
   appropriately located. If there is a medical need to locate a prisoner in healthcare,
   decision will be made on a needs assessment to re-locate an individual to facilita
                                                                                        te the
   move. The presence of lodgers does impact on the delivery of healthcare but work
   continuing to address this on a daily basis and lodgers will be moved to normal
   as soon as space becomes available.

   Prisoner Movements
   Bristol is a local prison and as such its primary function is to service the crown
   magistrates courts within its catchment area. In order to accommodate these prison
   it is necessary for sentenced prisoners to be allocated to the training estate, where
  can better address their offending behaviour needs. Without this regular movem
                                                                                        ent out
  of Bristol there would be insufficient spaces for remand or newly sentenced prison
  and this would cause severe problems to the scheduling of future court hearings.
  majority of prisoner movements out of Bristol are to more suitable prisons in
                                                                                    order to
  progress the prisoner through his sentence. As demand for local prison beds
  high, it is not likely to allow a reduction in prisoner movements at Bristol in
  foreseeable future.

  Financial Constraints

  The financial situation at Bristol remains the same as last year. The Area
                                                                              Manager is
 working hard to ensure that Bristol is appropriately funded and delivers value
 money. The prison cost analysis continues to show that Bristol as one of
                                                                             the Area’s
 most highly funded prisons. The Area Manager continues to monitor the situatio
                                                                                    n but
 feels that the funding provided is adequate. No additional money will be
                                                                           provided from
 the Area budget for workshops at Bristol. However, negotiations are underw
                                                                                ay with
 Bristol City Council’s Cycle City Team to maintain and refurbish bicycles. There
                                                                                     is also
 a possibility of providing ground works teams to assist in the maintenance
                                                                              of Bristol
 and South Gloucestershire cycle routes and develop a family mountain bike
                                                                                scheme at
 Ashton Court. Funding for this work will come directly from Bristol City Counc
 Mental Health

  Mental health provision at Bristol is a fully integrated service provided by
                                                                                Avon and
  Wiltshire Partnership NHS Trust, which is a specialist mental health provid
                                                                                 er. This
  service is being re-designed to reflect a community mental health team
                                                                              model for the
 prison adopting NHS practices and includes all mental health provision.
                                                                              Mental health
 workers and in-reach teams provide support in identifying and arranging
                                                                               for the transfer
 out to hospital those individuals who are too ill to remain in prison. Those
                                                                                eligible for
 transfer should be moved out of prison as quickly as possible. Offend
                                                                           er Health at the
 Department of Health has been working to reduce waiting times for a bed
                                                                                and have
 introduced tighter monitoring to identify prisoners waiting an unacceptably
                                                                                 long period.
 There has been a significant decrease in the number of people waiting
                                                                             over 12 weeks
for a transfer and the average waiting time at Bristol remains below two
Prisoners who have less severe mental health needs are managed by
                                                                            the mental
health team within the prison and receive an appropriate level of care and
that compares well with that delivered in the community outside the prison.

   Foreign Nationals

  The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is making every effort to ensure that the remov
                                                                                      al of
  foreign national prisoners coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison
  on completion of sentence. The UKBA has a target to commence consideration
  deportation action 12 months before a prisoners’ release date. This target is now
  met in almost all cases where sentence length allows. Where removal is not possib
  detention is continued under immigration powers. If, after careful consideration
                                                                                     , it is
  decided to pursue deportation, this decision is communicated to the prison and
  prisoner at the very earliest opportunity. There are however some delays in the
 deportation process due to circumstances such as last minute legal barriers, difficu
 obtaining travel documents and non-compliance. However, progress has been
                                                                                      made to
 minimise the impact of these issues. A number of Memoranda of Understandin
                                                                                     g on
 returns are now in place and the procedures and timescales for the issue of
 documentation to underpin returns have been formalised. Consequently around
                                                                                       a fifth
 of all individuals are removed or deported directly from prison an average of
                                                                                   180 days
 before their release date. For the remaining individuals it takes the UKBA
                                                                              around 130
 days, on average, to deport or remove them from the UK. Current practises are
 compliant with the European Court of Human Rights. Under the Immigration
                                                                                  Act 1971
 and the UK Borders Act 2007, UKBA has the power to detain people pendin

  The automatic deportation provisions within the UK Borders Act 2007
                                                                            have now been
  introduced. Any non-EEA foreign national convicted of a crime and receivi
                                                                                 ng a
 custodial sentence of 12 months or more since that date, as well as those
                                                                                 who were
 still serving their sentence but had not received a notice of intention
                                                                          to deport them, will
 be subject to these automatic deportation provisions. These provisions
                                                                              mean that any
 foreign criminal meeting the criteria will know that they are liable for
                                                                          deportation from
 the date of their conviction, with no scope for discretion allowing them
                                                                            to stay. In many
 cases there will also be no right of appeal with the UK.

 Disabled Prisoners

 Resources for disability have increased significantly over the past year.
                                                                           The Disability
 Liaison Officer (DLO) now has weekly profiled hours and an establishmen
                                                                              t disability
policy and action plan have been developed. The action plan is used
                                                                        to highlight any
areas of concern and adaptations are made on an individual basis. While
                                                                              the physical
nature of the establishment will inevitably offer physical boundaries,
                                                                       the DLO will
ensure the decent and appropriate treatment of all prisoners with disabil
                                                                           ities at Bristol.
Funding is currently being sought to make the healthcare facilities
                                                                     compliant with the
Disability Discrimination Act. Every effort is also being made to move
                                                                        services to the
ground floor to accommodate disabled prisoners

Thank you once again for your Board’s report. The Justice Secreta
                                                                   ry and I are, as ever,
grateful to you and your colleagues for all your hard work on behalf
                                                                     of Bristol and for
the work of Independent Monitoring Boards in general.
                                             I    .

                                  SHAHID MALIK MP
                                  JUSTICE MINISTER

   FOR AUGUST 2007 JULY 2008-

   NOMS comments on matters raised in the report


  The accommodation is currently to a good standard at Bristol and there are no plans
  make any changes other than general reactive/planned maintenance. The paintin
  programme has made significant improvements to most of the residential
                                                                               units and a
  principal officer has been made responsible for improving cleaning schedu
                                                                                les. This has
  also made improvements to the general standards of cleanliness. There
                                                                              are currently
  no plans to provide internal sanitation to B Wing (the only wing without interna
  sanitation) as this would require significant capital input and halve the numbe
                                                                                   r of
  available cells on the wing.

  Funding is currently being sought to extend the reception area by renovating
  offices, which will provide an area for new receptions to be seen by induct
                                                                              ion, the
  Integrated Drug Treatment System (DTS) doctor and a Counselling, Assess
  Referral, Advice and Throughcare (CARAT) worker in more relaxing surrou
                                                                               ndings. This
  has been highlighted on the Area Planning database and is currently in
  maintenance programme for 201 2/1 3,


 The ban on smoking in the healthcare exercise yard was implemented
                                                                                in line with
  Primary Care Trust (PCT) policy and is now being reviewed with all
                                                                           partners. Smoking
 by segregated prisoners in the exercise yard is also under review, to bring
 policy in line with the healthcare centre. Bristol offers full support to all
                                                                               prisoners who
 are completing a stop smoking plan through a variety of partners. Howev
                                                                                  er, research
 has shown that smoking has a significant detrimental effect on general health.
 Identified smokers in inpatients are offered support and medication to reduce
 symptoms of withdrawal. This is monitored by the nursing and medica
                                                                             l staff and
 adjusted as necessary.


 There have been significant problems with the prison population recently
                                                                             and prisoners
 were regularly held in police cells under Operation Safeguard. This diverte
                                                                               d the
 resources available to the escort contractor from the usual court catchm
                                                                            ent area and
 limited the resources available to return prisoners to establishments. Howev
                                                                                er, the
formal use of police cells has now ended and prisoners are usually returne
                                                                               d to Bristol
 by the agreed times. It is acknowledged that there is a particular proble
                                                                           m on Saturdays,
as prisoners can arrive late in the afternoon or evening. This is due to the
                                                                              courts sitting
all day on Saturdays and is outside the control of the escort contractors.
                                                                            A meeting has
been held between the Courts Service, Prisoner Escorts and Court Servic
establishment and escort contractor to establish what can be done to
                                                                         improve the
situation and work continues to develop a mutually acceptable resolut

 New receptions cannot be unloaded from vehicles until the paperw
                                                                    ork has been
thoroughly checked. Each prisoner is processed by the Senior Office
                                                                       r and then located
in a holding room. The process is conducted as quickly as possible
                                                                      and the time
prisoners are kept waiting on the vehicle is kept to the absolute minim
                                                                        um. At peak
times delays are inevitable as only one vehicle can be processed
                                                                   at a time.


Shared By: