A PRISON has been classed as reasonably safe with room for improvement by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Prisons.
Stocken Prison near Stretton was inspected in August last year, and a report published this week by chief inspector Nick Hardwick stated that it has a good focus on resettlement but needed to improve vocational training for prisoners.
The prison, which opened in 1985, is a category C establishment and had 825 prisoners at the time of inspection.
Mr Hardwick said: “Stocken has been undergoing almost incessant expansion since it opened and this expansion has accelerated in recent years.
“Despite this, managers and staff have maintained an essentially safe and secure establishment, as well as improving resettlement provision.
“However, in other areas there has been less progress: health care was excessively stretched, staff-prisoner relationships and diversity required improvement, and a greater focus was needed on purposeful activity in what is after all a large training prison.
“It is to be hoped managers will soon have a period of stability in which to build on the prison’s strengths and address the weaknesses pointed to in this report.”
Among the prison’s listed strengths were; its ways of dealing with self-harm, its success in reducing drugs, staff rarely have to use force with prisoners, the quality of education was classed as good and its resettlement programmes had improved.
Chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service Michael Spurr said: “I am pleased the chief inspector recognises that Stocken is a safe prison. The Governor and his staff will work to address the report’s concerns over the quality of purposeful activity and vocational training, the under-staffing of healthcare, and concerns over diversity provision and staff-prisoner relationships.”
For information visit www.justice.gov.uk