G4S Not Fit for Purpose Again

Report on an Unannounced Inspection of HMP Oakwood

Inspection by HMCIP, 10-21 June 2013, report compiled July 2013, published 08/10/13

HMP Oakwood urgently needed to improve and there were real risks if matters were allowed to drift, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the training prison near Wolverhampton. Oakwood is a new training prison that opened in April 2012 under the management of G4S. It can hold more than 1,600 prisoners. This report records the prison’s first independent inspection and it is a concerning report. The prison had many advantages in terms of its design and facilities but there was a palpable level of frustration among prisoners at their inability to get even basic issues addressed. The inexperience of staff was everywhere evident and systems to support routine services were creaky, if they existed at all. The quality of the environment and accommodation mitigated against some of the frustrations and without this risks could have been much greater. Against all four healthy prison tests: safety, respect, activity and resettlement, the outcomes inspectors observed were either insufficient or poor.

Inspectors were concerned to find that:

– too many prisoners felt unsafe and indicators of levels of violence were high,

– inspectors had no confidence in the quality of recorded data or the structures and arrangements to reduce violence;

– induction arrangements were weak;

– the first night centre was diverted by its need to provide an additional sanctuary for vulnerable prisoners;

– levels of self-harm were high and processes to support those in crisis were not good enough;

– there was clear evidence of illicit drug and alcohol use as well as the improper diversion of prescribed medication;

– prisoners were unable to access basic facilities, such as cleaning materials and kit;

– staff-prisoner relationships were not respectful and prisoners had little confidence in staff to act consistently or to get things done;

– many staff were passive and compliant, almost to the point of collusion,

– there was clear evidence of staff failing to tackle delinquency or abusive behaviour;

– the promotion of diversity was poor and the care needs of some prisoners with disabilities were not met;

– the provision of health care was very poor and as a consequence,

– health provider has received a regulatory enforcement notice from the Care Quality Commission;

– well over a third of prisoners were locked up during the working day and only just over half were in activity at any one time;

– leadership in learning and skills was poor, there were not enough activity places and those that were available were not fully used;

– the delivery of resettlement and offender management was uncoordinated with very poor offender management work; and

– prison urgently needed to decide how it was going to address the offending behaviour risks of its near 300 sex offenders.


About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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