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The Scottish Ministers
In accordance with my terms of reference as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, I forward a report of a full inspection carried out at HMP Inverness between 5-9 November 2007.
Eight recommendations and a number of other points for action are made.
ANDREW R C McLELLAN
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland
1.1 This inspection was not announced beforehand: inspectors arrived at the prison gate to announce that an inspection was beginning. All prison managers and staff were most cooperative and helpful: there was no hint of any obstacle being put in the way of inspectors. An unannounced inspection provides reassurance to Scottish Ministers and to the Scottish public that everything prisons do is open at all times to inspection.
1.2 On the other hand it is not necessarily obvious that an unannounced inspection will discover anything more than an announced inspection would. The four main sources for evidence on any inspection are written documents, observations and conversations with staff and with prisoners. These will provide the same evidence whether an inspection is announced or not. Before an announced inspection a detailed self-assessment will be sought from the prison, asking for evidence of the quality of the provision at that prison in terms of the "Standards Used in the Inspection of Prisons in Scotland". This self-assessment is an important part of the inspection process; and it is more difficult to obtain for an inspection which is not announced.
1.3 Much of the content of this report is similar to the content of previous reports on inspections of Inverness. Much that has been found good in the past continues to be good. The SPS Prisoner Survey contains a question about "the condition of the food when you get it", to which 58% of prisoners throughout Scotland answered "OK or better". In Inverness the figure was 78%. Other questions about food produce the same positive response.
1.4 Relationships between prisoners and prison staff are also very good. The comment is often made that in a small local prison like this one the same prisoners regularly come in and meet the same officers who have been serving there for many years. Staff and prisoners alike said that this familiarity was a significant factor in the good relationships.
1.5 The good relationships undoubtedly contribute to the high level of safety in Inverness. Anti-suicide measures are good, there is no evidence of bullying, levels of violence are low, and staff and prisoners say that they feel safe. All of this might also result from lower levels of drug use in Inverness prison than in other prisons.
1.6 The report indicates that healthcare and laundry facilities continue to be very good: and that the library arrangements (mostly under the supervision of a prisoner) are outstanding.
1.7 Inverness is regularly one of the most overcrowded prisons in Scotland. Indeed, from time to time prisoners have to sleep on mattresses on the floors of cells. Sometimes there are three prisoners sharing a cell. When three prisoners are sleeping in a cell built for two (or even for one) there is no room for any movement within the cell; there is no room for eating; worst of all, this squeezing of prisoners into tiny spaces is happening at a time when, as this report shows, cell doors are being kept locked for longer and longer periods each day. It is not possible for the prison to provide decent living conditions when it is required to hold so many prisoners.
1.8 Very few prisoners in Inverness have any useful work to do. Indeed, nearly all of the work places are those which are designed to meet the prison's own needs: kitchen, laundry and cleaning. There is a large workshop which is not used. At the time of inspection a new Links Centre (the present Links Centre is quite inadequate) was being built in the workshop area. No work opportunities have replaced those lost from the workshop. Inverness is like other prisons in the disappearance of workplaces: but that is of little comfort to the prisoners who want to work or to the public who want prisoners to work.
1.9 The lack of work places was also the main concern raised by the Chair of the Visiting Committee. Both staff and, interestingly, prisoners said repeatedly throughout the inspection that they believed that the disappearance of workplaces was a direct result of the regular cost savings the prison had had to make over recent years. It is always the case that prisoners who have no work spend more and more time locked up in cell: so it is the case at Inverness.
1.10 The small unit for women prisoners shows the best and the worst of the prison. Relationships between staff and prisoners are particularly good: all of the prisoners present during the inspection spoke of the caring and supportive attitude of staff. On the other hand there is very little for women to do. As it has been in the past, the women's unit is dependent on picking up small pieces of work to support local charities. Despite this, women value the opportunities to maintain family contact which Inverness provides more highly than the opportunities for useful, challenging stimulating days which they might find in Cornton Vale.
1.11 Previous reports have been critical of the lack of investment in Inverness prison, resulting in poor facilities in reception, the gym and the visits room. Some small improvements have been made in reception; but the visits room and the gym are as bad as they were before.
Prisoners are held in conditions that provide the basic necessities of life and health, including adequate air, light, water, exercise in the fresh air, food, bedding and clothing.
2.1 Not fully met. The basic necessities of life are provided although some of the accommodation is very poor and some cells have no window leading to a lack of light and fresh air. The food is amongst the best in the SPS, the prisoners' shop is very good, and the laundry arrangements are also very good.
2.2 Inverness is overcrowded. The establishment has a design capacity of 104. On the first day of the inspection 148 prisoners were unlocked.
2.3 The population was as follows:
2.4 Two of the 148 prisoners were foreign nationals.
2.5 There are six residential units and two separate cells in an annex adjacent to 'B' hall.
2.6 'A' hall houses adult and young remand prisoners and convicted young offenders awaiting transfer to Polmont. The hall consists of two floors each with seven cells. There is a dormitory on the second floor with six beds, four of which were occupied at the time of inspection. The dormitory has a toilet and shower area. Each bed has a locker, none of which lock. Small metal windows allow adequate light and fresh air. There is a small room off the dormitory and at the time of inspection this room was empty.
2.7 All cells are single with bunk beds. Each cell has a toilet which is enclosed in a cubicle. A large window allows in adequate light and ventilation. All cells have two chairs and two metal cabinets which no longer lock.
2.8 Many of the curtains are torn and held in place by various improvised means. These should be replaced. All cells have electric power and television. Prisoners are required to eat in their cells but there are no tables. Each cell has a vanity unit but there is no space to hang clothes.
2.9 There are two showers available at the end of the second floor. These are clean and offer adequate opportunity for privacy. On the bottom floor there is a room with a pool table which is available at recreation times.
2.10 'B' hall houses vulnerable, remand and convicted prisoners. It has three floors, and is an open gallery design with a safety net. It has the capacity to hold 88 prisoners. On the day of inspection 80 prisoners were unlocked. Staff spoke of recent overcrowding when 100 prisoners had been held. The ground floor holds vulnerable prisoners, the second floor remand prisoners and the third floor convicted prisoners. All cells are double occupancy and have toilet facilities and in-cell power. There are two observation cells on the ground floor. Shower facilities are available on each floor.
2.11 A selection of referral and complaints forms was readily available on all floors.
2.12 A central food servery is located on the ground floor where all prisoners are served their lunch and dinner. This is overseen by staff. The association areas were clean and tidy. Prisoners eat all meals in their cells.
2.13 The standard of some of the accommodation is very poor, particularly the ground and second floor. The third floor had recently been refurbished, although there was evidence that paint on window sills was beginning to crack and peel, and graffiti was evident on newly refurbished walls. The second floor had just started to be refurbished at the time of the inspection. Walls were covered in graffiti. Curtains in some cells were little more than rags, and a number of mattresses were stained or had been written on. These should be replaced.
2.14 Individual lockable storage was available in all cells. However in the majority of cells this storage had been positioned above the prisoner's table and chair. The cabinet edges are very sharp and appeared dangerous. Of all the cells inspected only one of these cabinets had secure fastening: a number were already broken or the prisoner did not know they had to ask for a lock.
2.15 Adjacent to the hall on the first floor is the multifunctional recreational area, which doubles as a Links Centre and Chapel. The canteen and library is also situated here. The area has two enclosed red telephone boxes. A variety of recreational material is available: table tennis, pool, television and play station games.
2.16 Convicted prisoners are able to access the recreation area every evening. Remand prisoners have access every second evening, alternating with 'A' hall remand prisoners. Vulnerable prisoners access recreation in 'A' hall Recreational Area every other night. However it was evident at the group induction on the Friday morning that a number of remand prisoners who had been in the prison for up to five days had yet not had the opportunity to access this recreational area. When asked why this was the case they had been told that it "was due to high remand numbers".
2.17 'C' wing houses convicted prisoners, specifically the library passman and other passmen. 'C' wing can accommodate 11 prisoners. At the time of inspection the wing was full. It contains nine single cells and one dormitory area for two prisoners. A number of these jobs available to these prisoners are not full time with prisoners being returned to the wing before lunch time.
2.18 All cells have integral sanitation and electric power. There is no telephone. Prisoners have to be taken to 'B' hall recreational area to use the telephone. This can cause problems, particularly when staff are unavailable or when prisoners are not getting access to recreation due to work commitments.
2.19 There is lack of natural light in the dormitory area. There is no window, although there is a sky light. Ventilation in this area is also very poor. A fan is situated high up on the wall which works when the electricity is on. When the power is turned off at around 1.30 am this cell becomes hot and stuffy. It is recommended that the electricity is not turned off at night in the dormitory area in 'C' wing.
2.20 There is a central shower facility with two showers. This area also stores mops and buckets which are for use in the female wing.
2.21 A central sitting area is also used as a recreational area. This is furnished with cane furniture. The furniture is discoloured, stained and well past its best. One of the couches was broken. This furniture should be replaced. The windows in this area are metal framed and a number could not be closed properly. The sitting area was very cold during the inspection.
2.22 There is a lack of availability of referral or complaints forms in 'C' wing. This should be addressed.
2.23 'D' wing houses low supervision prisoners. It is the worst accommodation in the prison. There are seven rooms of varying sizes, all with electric power and televisions. In three of the rooms there are no windows to allow natural light and ventilation and this adds to the problem of a disagreeable odour which permeates the area. The accommodation consists of four rooms with single occupancy, two rooms with double occupancy and a dormitory with two bunk beds. The dormitory, one of the single and one of the double rooms have no windows. There is an en-suite shower in the windowless single room and there are signs of dampness on the walls and ceilings. Some rooms have no storage or hanging space for clothes or personal belongings. It is recommended that the accommodation in 'D' wing is improved and that cells without windows should not be used.
2.24 A small sitting room is situated at the opposite end of the corridor from the entrance door. This room is equipped with soft seating, a television and some dining chairs. There is a table and a small book case. Some prisoners dine in this area but not all can sit around the table with the consequence that many rest their meals on their knees while watching TV.
2.25 Prisoners have keys to their own door and have free access to all inside areas 24 hours per day. Not all rooms have en-suite toilets but there is access to a communal toilet.
2.26 Mattresses, pillows and bedding are clean and there are regular opportunities to change sheets and pillow slips.
2.27 A small kitchen with a washing machine is located close to the entrance door. Meals are served from this area and prisoners use the washing machine to do their own laundry. Prisoners in this area have access to a small outdoor yard every day during periods of unlock. Prisoners are usually located in 'D' wing close to their liberation date and as a consequence most have no job. Depending on the demand for spaces however, some prisoners can be located in this area for several months.
2.28 'E' wing houses convicted low security passmen and cooks. The wing has the capacity to hold 15 prisoners. Thirteen were unlocked on the first day of inspection. There are two single cells, one of which is used by the wing passman. This cell does not have an enclosed toilet (also see paragraph 6.21). It is recommended that all toilets in cells should be enclosed. The other single cell has a disabled toilet (but no shower); however entry to the cell is not wide enough to allow wheelchair access. There are three cells which hold three prisoners (in a bunk bed and a single bed) and two cells which hold four prisoners (in two sets of bunk beds). All of these have enclosed toilets. At the end of the wing there are two showers, one of which is suitable for disabled prisoners.
2.29 At the entrance of the wing there is a small recreation area which has a pool table and television. There is a small kitchen area with a kettle, sink and fridge. There was an array of literature and information on the notice board, although these need to be updated. Complaints forms, health centre referral forms and racial incident reports were all available but had obviously been there for some time.
2.30 The wing itself was clean, although a number of cells were very smoky and need to be cleaned. A telephone is available in this area.
2.31 The female unit houses prisoners of all categories: adult, young offender, convicted and remand. It is situated on two floors. Dormitory accommodation in three cell areas is situated on the top floor. This can hold a total of 12 women. There are two dormitories which hold four prisoners and one dormitory which holds three prisoners. There is also an observation cell for vulnerable women or those on Act2Care.
2.32 Outside the cell area is a small central area which is used as the reception on entry to the prison. Basic kitchen equipment can also be found in this area. A range of information relevant to females is available: from healthy living brochures; referral forms for care and support; and complaints forms.
2.33 On the ground floor is a small TV lounge, shower and laundry facilities and the property store for women. All of the unit's dirty clothes are washed in this area and then sent to the main laundry for drying. The women indicated that the shower facilities had recently been upgraded and that they were missing the bath, which had been removed.
2.34 There is a telephone in this area which the prisoners can access when not in cell.
2.35 All cells have integral sanitation. The accommodation is bright and well ventilated. Graffiti was evident is some areas. Each of the four bedded cells is equipped with chairs for just two prisoners. At the time of the visit only five women were being held in this area. When this unit holds its capacity it is cramped and the privacy afforded to each individual is poor.
2.36 Each woman has her own cutlery which she washes after use. Detergent is available in the central area outside the cells. All dishes are returned to the central kitchen area. Meals are transferred from the central servery to this area prior to lunch and the evening meal. There is no central eating area and women eat all their meals in their cells.
2.37 During the inspection it was evident that the women spend a large proportion of time out of their cells compared with male prisoners. However, there is no routine work for them. During the visit they spent an afternoon potting plants for a local charity event. They have access to the gym, library and shop at specific times so that they do not mix with male prisoners. They do however attend visits and Sunday Services with male prisoners.
2.38 Facilities for exercise in the fresh air are basic. There is one main exercise area and two smaller areas to allow various groups of prisoners to have time in the fresh air while being kept separate from each other. There is also a small astro turf football pitch which can be accessed during PE.
2.39 The small yard at the back of 'B' hall is used by remand prisoners and can become very crowded at times. This yard and the main one have no seated area and prisoners are only allowed sit on the ground or walk around.
2.40 An area at the front of the health centre is available for female prisoners to spend time in the open air. This area has seating which makes it marginally more appealing.
2.41 Waterproofs are available in 'B' hall for those prisoners who want them. Extra time in the fresh air is sometimes made available if the weather is good.
2.42 The kitchen employs twelve prisoners and is clean and efficient. Staff working there have undertaken the Scotvec Level 2 and Intermediate Hygiene Courses. Prisoners undertake the basic food handling course. There are no longer any Scotvec qualifications available to prisoners. These should be reintroduced.
2.43 The kitchen is located beside 'B' hall which has a servery from which food is served to all prisoners in the larger halls. Inspectors tasted the food on a number of occasions and the quality was good and portions large. A vegetarian option is available at every meal. A four week menu cycle exists and remand prisoners are also offered a choice. Fruit is available. Food is transported to 'E' and 'F' wings in heated trolleys in trays ready to serve. Prisoners in 'D' wing receive plated meals via thermal containers. Transportation time is short and the food does not deteriorate.
2.44 A Catering Committee offers prisoners the opportunity to comment on the arrangements and make suggestions. Managers taste the food on a regular basis. There is no formal complaints book, but prisoners have every opportunity to make a complaint at the servery or to the catering manager. The Prisoner Survey and discussion with prisoners confirmed high levels of satisfaction.
2.45 Special diets are catered for. The catering department and the health centre work together to ensure that medical issues related to diet are addressed. This is an area of good practice. The catering department also discuss any particular requirements with prisoners.
2.46 The timing of the meals is appropriate and special arrangements are made for prisoners due for early escort departures, late returns from courts and admissions.
2.47 Overall, the catering arrangements are excellent.
2.48 The arrangement for prisoners' canteen is a 'shop' located in 'B' hall. The shop is well stocked with a good range of well priced items. A sample of stock was examined and all items were well within the "sell by" date. Prisoners have the opportunity to comment on stock and make suggestions through the common good fund meeting.
2.49 Very good arrangements for purchasing sundry items are in place. Cards for special occasions can be purchased to help maintain family contact and relations. Other items such as flowers and boxes of chocolates can also be purchased for this purpose. Articles required for cultural reasons, such as face creams and shampoos, can be ordered. If a prisoner has sufficient cash he/she can purchase a newspaper every day. The canteen passman also visits the halls with a request sheet for fruit. It should be noted that a wide range of fruit is available to buy: bananas, satsumas, apples, grapes, pears, plums and kiwi fruit. Uptake of this is very high. Plans are in place to gradually replace the shop with the 'bag and tag' system common in the rest of the SPS.
Clothing and Laundry
2.50 Five prisoners are employed in the laundry and at the time of inspection they were not able to obtain a formal qualification. The laundry service and the quality of clothing in Inverness is very good. All new prisoners are given a personal numbered kit. The underwear and other garments have previously been worn by other prisoners. Prisoners should be issued with new underwear on admission to the prison. Prisoners if they wish may wear their own underwear and have this washed in the laundry. Every effort is made to ensure that prisoners are supplied with clothing which is in a good state of repair and is a good fit. Damaged clothing is changed.
2.51 Underwear and socks can be washed on a daily basis. Shirts, towels and jeans can be laundered three times per week with pillow slips, sheets and duvet covers once per week. Cooks clothing is washed on a daily basis. Despite a high prisoner turnover and constant overcrowding the laundry continues to provide a very good service, a point confirmed by prisoners. Stock control procedures were also very effective.
2.52 Procedures are in place for bio-hazard washing and infection control.
Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that individual prisoners are protected from harm by themselves and others.
3.1 Met. The prison is safe; relationships are good; anti suicide measures are good; there are few drugs; prisoner escort arrangements are appropriate; and there is no obvious evidence of bullying.
Escapes, Absconds and Physical Security
3.2 There have been no escapes from Inverness since the last inspection. The last abscond was in 2004. The prison has a perimeter wall and inner fence. The perimeter is alarmed and has full CCTV coverage.
3.3 Most prisoners located in Inverness arrive directly from court. There are also a few long-term prisoners who find it difficult to cope in association in a larger establishment. The prisoner supervision paperwork is started in reception immediately after admission. The initial level allocated is reviewed within 72 hours by a residential officer. A first line manager checks this and makes the final decision.
3.4 The review board consisting of Head of Operations, Intelligence Analyst, Operations First Line Manager and 'C' wing Officer meets monthly to conduct reviews. Most short-term prisoners are reviewed at three monthly intervals but all must have a review annually. The prisoner is not present at the review but is allowed to make written representation.
3.5 Inspectors reviewed both electronic and paper records. Reviews occur in line with the policy and decisions are based on a range of information. Reasons for decisions are not always written on the forms and the prisoner does not always sign the form. This should be addressed.
3.6 Apart from some minor omissions noted above the system for awarding and reviewing prisoner supervision levels is robust.
Escort Handover Procedures
3.7 A Personal Escort Record ( PER) is generated for every prisoner leaving the establishment under the control of the escort contractor. All PERs inspected held an appropriate range of information to ensure the security, safety and care of the individual. The PER forms received from the escort contractor contained detailed information about the prisoner and the process he had been through that day. There is also good verbal communication between reception and escort staff during the handover procedure.
3.8 Many prisoners held in Inverness are required to travel significant distances to and from courts and some have to be unlocked early in the morning before the main shift is on duty. The night duty staff unlock the prisoner, supervise his shower and provide him with breakfast. Reception staff come in early to assist with early courts.
3.9 When prisoners are brought into the establishment they leave the escort vehicle uncuffed, two at a time and are identified in reception. In the evening when the reception staff are taking their meal break prisoners are accepted by members of a patrol shift. During this period prisoners are escorted into reception uncuffed, one at a time. Once the prisoner is identified he is taken immediately to a cell in 'B' hall where he is held until reception staff return from their meal and complete the reception admission process.
3.10 By not handcuffing prisoners and escorting them between the vehicle and reception the procedure is speeded up, with no obvious compromise to security or safety.
3.11 The vehicles inspected were clean and all had water and microwave meals on board. Prisoners leaving the establishment reported knowing where they were going and had some idea how long the journey would take. If prisoners on long journeys require to use the toilet they are generally taken into a police station on the route. Prisoners also reported that they were well treated by escort staff. They did not however receive a safety briefing prior to commencement of their journey. This should be addressed.
Admission and Induction Procedures
3.12 The reception area has undergone a refurbishment since the last full inspection in October 2004. The area is still small, but provides a much more acceptable environment. A short corridor runs from the external entrance door to a small room at the back of the reception. The main reception area is to the left of this corridor. There are three cubicles for prisoners to change their clothes.
3.13 There is now a communal waiting room with a transparent wall which allows good sight lines. The room has six fixed seats, a television and a water dispenser. There is a lack of good quality information notices within the waiting room. A large fixed worktop and staff work station are located in the main reception area. A search area is located opposite the staff workstation: this offers adequate opportunity for the maintenance of dignity
3.14 A clothing store is located in a room just off the main reception area. The store has a rack system which allows maximum use of the available space. There is also a hanging area for suits. A small wall safe provides secure overnight storage of cash and valuable property until this can be taken to the office the following working day for more permanent secure storage.
3.15 All prisoners received into reception are located in the communal waiting area. The only exception to this is prisoners who require to be kept separate. These prisoners will either be located in the small room at the end of the corridor or in one of the separate changing rooms. Prisoners are brought to the workstation where they are seated and their details are entered on the computerised record system. The cell sharing risk assessment is carried out at this time. The suicide risk assessment is carried out in the small room at the end of the corridor, if it is considered that someone is a potential risk. Although this offers privacy it is not the ideal environment in which to conduct such important and potentially sensitive interviews.
3.16 All new admissions are given a numbered prison kit. Although kits are clean none are new. Prisoners should be issued with new underwear on admission to the prison. If a prisoner is serving over three months he will be given new shoes. If he is serving less than three months a used pair of shoes will be issued albeit after having been sprayed with an approved disinfectant. Remand prisoners are allowed to have their own clothing in use in the hall but are required to wear prison clothing when they attend the visit area.
3.17 Property and cash are checked in the presence of the prisoner and then entered on the appropriate cards for the prisoner's signature. Telephone interpreting services are available to assist with immediate needs. The most common language requests are Polish and Latvian. All new admissions and returns are given a 30 pence credit for their phone account.
3.18 There is a SHAP calendar of religious festivals available, but no obvious notice in reception identifying foreign languages. This should be addressed.
3.19 On late shift, the reception area is staffed by two officers. It can be very busy. Many admissions into Inverness will also have travelled a significant distance, sometimes by air from Kirkwall and Stornoway, sometimes by a long road journey from Portree. There are good lines of communication between most of the courts and the prison, with courts advising reception staff of admissions and the expected time of arrival. Staff are very supportive of prisoners received into reception and many prisoners are well known to staff. Everyone was addressed either by their first name or had their surname prefixed by 'Mr'. Once the reception process is completed individuals are moved quickly to 'B' hall where a first night check list is completed and a cell allocated. This ensures that if a prisoner is admitted before the evening meal a hot meal is made available.
3.20 A hot meal is not available if the prisoner is admitted after the evening meal has been served. Most prisoners who are due to arrive at the prison after the evening meal are offered a meal before they leave the court. If some form of evening meal has not been provided before the prisoner arrives in Inverness there is no opportunity to have any food. A contingency should be developed for those (rare) occasions when a prisoner arrives in the evening not already having received an evening meal.
3.21 Female admissions are passed immediately to the female unit where the admission process is conducted.
3.22 All admissions are interviewed by a nurse. This interview will often take place in the small room at the end of the entrance corridor. There is no access to the computerised prisoner record system in this room. The nurse conducts a basic healthcare checklist assessment and a nursing suicide risk assessment. All admissions are seen the following day by the doctor when medication and detoxification issues are addressed. A prisoner admitted to Inverness with addiction problems on a Monday evening may have been in police custody since the Friday and will not see the doctor until the Tuesday morning. This may add to their distress.
3.23 New admissions are located in 'B' hall. Officers give information to the prisoner following a routine "first night admission checklist". This ensures consistency of approach. It covers basic but immediately useful information, for example how to summon help and support on your first night; the protocol for using the telephone; and the availability of the listener service.
3.24 Following this process, induction is undertaken by officers in 'E' wing. The following morning officers sit down with every new prisoner on a one-to-one basis and give more detailed information. This one-to-one session is undertaken in the Induction Room. This room hosts all inductions and pre-release paperwork. The individual session covers hall routines, grievance procedures, referral process to the health centre, visits, availability of work placements and Act Procedures. The Core Screen is undertaken and the officer completes this on PR2. Prisoners also have the opportunity to raise concerns.
3.25 At the end of each week a group induction is also undertaken, during which all prisoners admitted that week are given a presentation by a number of other service providers within the prison, as well as fuller briefing by 'E' wing staff. During the inspection this session was well attended by 19 prisoners (18 remand and 1 convicted). Five of these prisoners had never been in prison before and took the opportunity to ask a number of questions. The room itself is cramped and airless and far too small for the number of individuals who were participating. The officer however did an excellent job at keeping the prisoners engaged. Other providers who input to the session are Phoenix Futures, the Health Care Team and Jobcentre Plus.
3.26 An Inverness Induction Booklet is given to all new prisoners on admission. This contains lots of information in relation to Core Screening, ICM, the Visiting Committee, the FCDO and Complaints. This is only available in English. Consideration was being given to publishing this in Polish due to the increase in this population within the prison. The booklet could easily be adapted for families or made available in the visits area. There are no opportunities for families to participate in induction, Phoenix Futures does not provide a dedicated family induction session, and no literature about induction is available for families in the visits area. Families should be encouraged to participate in the induction process and more information should be made available to them.
Suicide Risk Management
3.27 There have been three suicides since the last full inspection. The average monthly number of prisoners subject to ACT2Care in the year to date of inspection was eight with four episodes of self harm in the same period. This shows a reduction in both average monthly numbers and self harm incidents from the previous year.
3.28 At the time of inspection two prisoners were subject to ACT2Care. One was high risk and one low. The prisoner on low risk had been subject to ACT for approximately three months: which seems excessive. Inspectors met with both prisoners on ACT2Care and they confirmed that they were extremely content with the care and support they were receiving. There are very good relationships between staff and prisoners at Inverness and this helps create a feeling of a safe and supportive environment for prisoners.
3.29 When a prisoner is assessed as requiring ACT2Care procedures, the Inverness approach is to organise an immediate case conference. This is an area of good practice. If the prison is locked up and "on patrol", an immediate care plan will be drawn up in line with policy and a case conference held once the main shift is on duty.
3.30 There are two safe cells in 'B' hall and one in the female unit. These cells are not equipped to the recommended SPS standard. They do not have a bed, furniture or electric power. A mattress is laid on a raised concrete plinth and the toilet is not enclosed. Staff reported that when the number of prisoners requiring high supervision is greater than the number of safe cells available permission is sought to put a male prisoner into the safe cell in the female unit.
3.31 If that particular facility is in use then two prisoners are accommodated in one of the safe cells. The situation then is that one prisoner will sleep on a mattress on the raised plinth and the other will use a mattress on the lower part of the floor. Although there are occasions and circumstances where it may be appropriate to place two high risk ACT2Care supervision prisoners in the same cell, this should only follow a robust assessment that it is the most appropriate approach. It should not be considered as an expedient to address issues of overcrowding. It is hard to imagine how such circumstances might not be detrimental to such an individual's fragile mental health.
3.32 An assessment of the paperwork indicated that when someone is placed on high risk there is a standard approach of locating him in a safe cell, issuing canvas clothing and canvas bedding and allowing no items in use. An individual person centred approach based on risk and need, in line with policy guidelines, should be adopted. It was however good to note that family members are sometimes involved in case conferences. The regime for prisoners on ACT2Care appears to be focused more on risk aversion that social stimulation. There is, for example, no day care facility and no dedicated mental health resource to support prisoners on ACT2Care.
3.33 Inverness has a Listener Scheme. At the time of inspection there were four Listeners. Inspectors met with Listeners and the Samaritan prison representative who reported that they felt valued and supported. The Listeners reported that staff and management ensured that they were able to move easily around the prison to see clients. A Listener is present during induction and one Listener currently works in the library which ensures that the scheme is both formally and informally publicised. Listeners reported that they will often use their own tea bags or tobacco when interviewing a client. Management should consider supplying a "comfort pack" for the duty Listener.
3.34 A significant issue for the Listeners is the lack of appropriate facilities within the residential areas for confidential meetings. Due to the regular overcrowding most cells have two prisoners and if a Listener is asked to see a client and there are two prisoners in the cell the other prisoner is asked to leave. This is not acceptable and a more appropriate location for such meetings should be found.
3.35 A lack of appropriate interview space is also a problem for ACT2Care case conferences. Inspectors witnessed a case conference which occurred over a weekend and was held in the laundry. The case conference was conducted whilst staff and the prisoner were standing around a table. Although the staff were able to build an excellent rapport with the prisoner and get him to speak openly, this is not an appropriate environment in which to conduct a case conference.
3.36 The local Suicide Risk Management Group ( SRMG) meets on a regular basis and inspection of the minutes indicates good attendance and appropriate topics discussed. Samaritans and Listeners attend SRMG meetings.
3.37 Overall, Inverness provides a safe and supportive environment for prisoners, and suicide risk management procedures, even if somewhat risk averse, are able to support vulnerable prisoners through a crisis.
3.38 Prisoners regularly reported that the prison was safe. Vulnerable prisoners who tend to feel less safe reported that staff ensured they were not verbally or physically abused. In the current year to the inspection there had been two prisoner-on-prisoner assaults against a target of one. In the previous year there was one prisoner-on-prisoner assault. Most assaults are a consequence of something which has happened in the community. Improved liaison with the police means that information is often received which allows preventive action to be taken.
3.39 The last reportable prisoner-on-staff assault was two years ago. The number of prisoner removals under restraint showed a slight increase in the current year over the previous one. In 2006 the monthly average was 1.5 per month whilst in the year up to the inspection there was a monthly average of 1.9. Planned removals are not video recorded. This should be addressed. Handcuffs have not been used in the past two years.
3.40 All allegations of staff-on-prisoner assaults are reported to the police for investigation.
3.41 Night duty cover is provided by a group of permanent night duty staff who have built up a high level of experience and expertise. A comprehensive set of night and emergency instructions are available. However, some of the instructions and paperwork in the night folders are outdated. This should be addressed.
3.42 None of the night duty staff are trained in first aid but all have a current competence in "first on the scene" procedures which includes emergency resuscitation.
3.43 Night duty staff displayed a good knowledge of procedures, and inspectors were satisfied that they could deal effectively with a range of potential situations which might occur during the night.
Prisoners are treated with respect by prison staff.
4.1 Met. Most staff and prisoners know each other. No inappropriate nicknames are used. However, not all staff wear their name badges. A number of prisoners spoke very positively about the way they were treated by staff.
Prisoners are treated with respect for their dignity while being escorted to and from prison, in prison and while under escort in any location.
4.2 Met. Staff treat prisoners well. Vehicles are clean. Prisoners are not handcuffed coming off vans. However, there are some long journeys which may be uncomfortable. Prisoner escort arrangements are carried out appropriately.
4.3 The observed relationships between staff and prisoners throughout the establishment were positive and mutually respectful. First names were always used when addressing prisoners and no inappropriate name calling was heard. A number of prisoners spoke very positively about they way they were treated by staff. Many of the prisoners appear to be well known to the staff and this means that the staff have a significant knowledge of prisoners personal issues. Some staff were not wearing their name badges during the inspection.
4.4 Informing prisoners of sensitive or unwelcome news is based on the needs of the individual. This information would usually be imparted by a member of staff with whom the prisoner is most familiar.
Equality and Diversity
4.5 Two foreign national prisoners were living in Inverness on the first day of the inspection. There was also one prisoner registered disabled and two who were temporarily incapacitated.
4.6 The Equality and Diversity Group is chaired by the Deputy Governor and attended by the Estates Manager, a range of uniformed staff, a prisoner and a community volunteer. There is also administrative support for the group. No impact assessments have been carried out on any establishment policies. This should be addressed. An extensive training programme in Equality and Diversity has been carried out within the establishment and at the time of the inspection only four staff had not undertaken the training.
4.7 The age of the establishment means that it is not easily accessible for individuals with severe mobility problems. Whilst there are some ramps around the prison there is no easy access to many of the residential areas. For example, a female prisoner with severe mobility problems would be unable to access the female unit unaided.
4.8 There are two cells which are used for prisoners with a physical disability. Neither offer easy access for individuals who are wheelchair-bound.
4.9 The prison has an estate action plan and a significant amount of work requires to be done in order to become compliant.
4.10 Interpreting services are available via a telephone service for emergencies and on site interpreters for planned meetings and case conferences. Muslim prisoners currently do not have access to a local Imam. They do however have access to a prayer mat and the Koran. Their dietary needs can be met at all times.
4.11 The prison has an environment which is tolerant of minority need. The Equality and Diversity Group however needs to become less reactive and more strategic in how it conducts its business.
4.12 The searching of prisoners is carried out in line with SPS policy and prison rules. Body searches are carried out only by staff of the same gender. Searches are conducted in a sensitive manner. Prisoners understand the need for searching and the reasons for individual searches.
Good contact with family and friends is maintained
5.1 Not met. The visits room is poor; booking arrangements are patchy; there is very little information for visitors; and there is no opportunity for families to participate in induction.
5.2 Arrangements for maintaining family contact are not good, despite Inverness being a 'local' prison. There is no family strategy in place. There is no literature available to take away in the visits waiting room and much of the literature and leaflets on the notice boards were out of date (some by 10 years). There are no dedicated family bonding sessions for children.
5.3 No regular meetings are held between the FCDOs and families and families are not invited to participate in the induction process. FCDO forms are not available in the visits waiting area or at the gate, although some were available in the residential areas. The FCDOs now attend the Suicide Risk Management Group and had recently started to attend the National Family Contact Development Forum.
5.4 The location of the prison can cause difficulties in terms of distance and travelling times, with some families travelling by boat or plane. Facilities when they arrive are poor. There is no fresh drinking water available and no hot food. The drinks machine in the visits area was empty, and had been for some months. Visitors felt that this aspect of the visits experience was particularly poor.
5.5 It is recommended that arrangements for maintaining family contact are improved as highlighted and that the whole family strategy is reviewed.
5.6 Visiting arrangements are as follows:-
5.7 Remand and convicted Young Offenders have visits every weekday afternoon between 1.30pm and 3.30pm with an evening session available on a Tuesday. A Saturday visit session is also available.
5.8 Convicted prisoners have visits every weekday evening from 6.45pm to 8.45pm with an afternoon session on a Tuesday and Sunday.
5.9 Male and female prisoners receive their visitors at the same time in the visits area. This has created no difficulties.
5.10 Visit sessions last for 30 minutes. However, there is no booking system in place. Visitors spoken to highlighted that this can cause problems as they may have to wait up to an hour after arriving at the prison, particularly at weekends. They also raised the point that if they were travelling a significant distance, an hour long visit session would enhance the experience, again particularly at weekends. However this was not available due to the volume of visitors. Visit sessions at weekends were highlighted as being particularly busy with some visitors stating these sessions were regularly shortened due to processing the high numbers. However, prisoners spoken to who received visits (a large number of families did not visit due to distance) felt that they were receiving their visit entitlement.
The Visits Room
5.11 The visits room itself was clean and tidy. The main concern is the size of both the waiting and visits rooms. The visits room is too small and cramped with only eight prisoners being able to participate at each visit session. When the room is full it is very noisy with very little privacy. Supervision cannot be discrete. No crèche facilities are available although a small area at the back of the room holds a selection of books and games for children. A children's cartoon frieze had been added to the wall to try and make this area more child friendly. However the size of the visit room restricts the amount of free movement that a child can make, particularly when the room is full. The visits waiting room is also very small and does not have enough seats to accommodate visitors. Some visitors said that they felt "intimidated" when in the waiting room for any length of time. It is recommended that a new visits facility is created.
5.12 There is very little information about the visiting arrangements available.
5.13 Security arrangements for visitors on entry to the establishment are thorough. A random number were searched prior to entry to the visits area.
5.14 Prisoners in all of the residential areas (with the exception of 'C' wing) have access to telephones within their living area. Prisoners in 'C' wing are able to access two telephones in 'B' hall Recreational Area. However, there is not always an officer available to escort them at the times when they would like to call a family member. A number also commented that whilst access was available this was during recreation times and background noise could be very loud. A telephone should be installed in 'C' wing. A number of telephones in use are red telephone boxes, the others had canopies. Prisoners are told during the induction process that their calls will be monitored. Information notices relating to this are available in every 'phone booth.
5.15 A robust process is in place to ensure that the handling of all correspondence is dealt with by the minimum amount of people and that those handling mail are trained. A weekly audit has been implemented to ensure that this can be monitored.
5.16 Prisoners are able to purchase first and second class stamps from the canteen and there is no limit to the number of letters they can send. All mail coming into the prison is delivered to the prisoner on the day of receipt. Mail is sorted and transported to the halls for distribution usually during the lunch time period. When letters are opened, this is done in the presence of the prisoner.
5.17 A number of the information notices within the establishment are out of date. Also of concern is the signage of rooms which could be confusing for prisoners and staff: for example the "Day Care Room" is now used as the Orderly Room and is also the Residential Managers Office. The "Cog Skills Room" is now used for a number of other activities and has not been used for Cognitive Skills for seven years. The signage should be updated.
Prisoners' entitlements are accorded them in all circumstances without their facing difficulty.
6.1 Met. Privileged mail and disciplinary and complaints procedures are all handled appropriately.
6.2 Only two issues had been identified during the last 18 months in relation to the handling of privileged mail and both of these had been investigated fully. SPSHQ had also been notified. Evidence of both of these investigations was available during the inspection. Staff voiced frustration that a number of local Solicitors who communicated with prisoners did not address the "Privileged Correspondence" appropriately but staff, due to their local vigilance, had been able to identify these. Letters had recently been sent to a number of Solicitors reminding them to alert the prison to the status of the communication.
Management of Disciplinary Proceedings
6.3 The Orderly Room is usually held in the Control Office Room. This room is not ideal as it continues to be used as an office when the Orderly Room is taking place. There are two desks, spin terminals, filing cabinets and adequate seating. The room houses other office equipment, with the telephone ringing on numerous occasions during the Orderly Room observed during the inspection. Keys to the lockable cabinets in all cells are also held on wall storage.
6.4 A second room known as the "small Orderly Room" is available should the prisoner be assessed as being disruptive. The room is small and basic with only a table and chairs and TV. This room is also used for Police and Social Work interviews.
6.5 Disciplinary hearings are normally chaired by the Residential Unit Manager, although other members of the Senior Management Team will undertaken this in his absence. Two Orderly Room hearings were held during the inspection with one of these observed by inspectors. The prisoner involved was treated in a respectful manner and had been given adequate time to prepare. Information from his narratives was also discussed.
6.6 The prisoner sits behind one desk with the adjudicator facing him behind another desk. There was no space behind the prisoner for officers to sit (due to the filing system) so they stood for the duration of the hearing. This appeared obtrusive.
6.7 The disposals made were appropriate. Proceedings were carried out in accordance with SPS guidance. An analysis of paperwork was undertaken both of written documentation and SPIN records. This was thorough and appropriate.
6.8 The Chaplaincy team comprises four part-time Chaplains all employed on permanent contracts for five hours each week. These cover Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Free Church of Scotland. The Roman Catholic Priest had joined this team in the last few months and was positive about the support received from the other members of the team and from Senior Management. The Chaplains meet as a team on a monthly basis.
6.9 The Salvation Army also provide a service to the prison and have done so for many years. During the inspection a representative mentioned that this service will stop in the near future and that this would leave a gap in the support available for prisoners.
6.10 There is no Iman service within the prison, although advice can be sought from the Imam who covers HMP Aberdeen. At the time of the inspection there were no practising Muslims in the prison. The Chaplains can provide prayer mats and copies of the Koran.
6.11 All Chaplains are trained in Act2Care and Control & Restraint. They are all key holders.
6.12 Chaplains visit the prison every day except Saturday. They have established a thorough process for identifying and visiting all new admissions to the prison within 24 hours of arrival. They also visit the Segregation Unit when it is in use.
6.13 Religious services are held on a Sunday. The Church of Scotland Service is held between 9 am and 10am, in 'B' hall Recreation Area, The Roman Catholic Service is held between 10am and 11am in the Education Unit/Chapel Area. An average of 15-25 prisoners attend the services. Male and female prisoners are able to worship together.
6.14 Whilst the facilities used for the services double up and are used by others for meetings and recreation, the Chaplains felt that they were always clean and tidy and well presented for the Sunday services.
6.15 The Chaplains spoke positively about their role within the prison. They are represented on several groups including Mental Health, Alcohol, and Equality and Diversity (although a number of these were not running at the time of the inspection). They also spoke positively about the role of the Listeners and felt that they had established close links should they require support.
6.16 Other groups which are running in the prison are the Prison Fellowship which offers a service to the Female Unit on a Friday evening. The Alpha Group had stopped recently, half way through a course, as prisoners had not continued to attend.
Prisoner Complaints Procedure
6.17 Prisoner complaints forms are available in all residential areas except 'C' wing. Both staff and prisoners spoke of trying to resolve issues before they reached the formal process, with some prisoners saying that because they knew the officer well they would speak to him before making a complaint. As a result, the number of complaints received was not high - an average of 40 a year. During the month of September and October 2007, 13 complaints had been received. Examples of the issues identified are the time that the electricity is switched off in cells and access to property in cell.
6.18 All written complaints received by an officer are passed to the Residential Manager who then logs these on PR2. There was evidence from the logs that complaints were dealt with within timescale. All paperwork analysed was completed to a satisfactory standard.
6.19 Prisoners who are not satisfied with the initial response have the opportunity to complain further through the Internal Complaints Committee. This is always chaired by a Unit Manager. Meetings of these are held timeously, and it was evident that the prisoner was always in attendance.
6.20 Prisoners and some staff indicated that prisoners would be moved to another prison if they misbehaved. This tactic should not be used to make prisoners wary of making a legitimate complaint.
Management of Segregation
6.21 Segregation is carried out in a small separate cell unit which is located adjacent to 'B' hall. When in use staff from this hall oversee prisoners' care. There are two cells, which have double door entry. Both cells have toilets which are not enclosed (also see paragraph 2.28). All cell call systems were in working order. Whilst both cells were clean, the facility is bleak, cold and intimidating.
6.22 Cell 1 contains a window, toilet and hand washing facility. This is not used as a silent cell. The bed is attached to the floor. A personal possession box is located between two door entry points. Cell 2 contains a window, toilet and hand washing facility. A raised concrete plinth and a mattress are used for a bed. A personal possession box is located between two door entry points.
6.23 Outside the cells is an area used for storing cleaning material for 'B' hall, a kitchen area and a shower area. This area is also used for the storage of mattresses and pillows. The area is very dated.
6.24 At the time of inspection no prisoners were being held in the Segregation Unit. Entries in the Unit book show that five prisoners had been held in the facility during October. When being held in segregation prisoners have access to the telephone and shower facility in 'B' hall, and to visits and exercise. The Chaplaincy Team also visits regularly.
Prisoners take part in activities that educate, develop skills and personal qualities and prepare them for life outside prison.
7.1 Partly met. All prisoners have an entitlement to education including those on remand and those serving short-term sentences. Between a third and one half of prisoners are regularly attending education classes. However, too few prisoners are able to access work-related training and insufficient priority is given to this aspect of preparation for release. The library arrangements are excellent. Work is available for around 46 prisoners. However, the large workshop has been closed and no new work opportunities have replaced those lost from this workshop. There is significantly less useful work available since the last inspection.
Learning, Skills and Employability
Introduction and Context
7.2 The learning centre activities are managed locally by the learning centre manager in the prison and accredited by Motherwell College who have the contract for delivering education services. Provision is available for all prisoners. Those who engage with education undertake studies in at least one core skill area. There has been an increase in the number of prisoners gaining SQA certificates for their studies in the learning centre. Recent developments have included the introduction of short courses in vocational studies involving a very small number of prisoners in electrical hand-wiring and plumbing. There has been a significant reduction in other vocational training opportunities for prisoners since the last inspection in 2004.
Staffing and Resources
7.3 There are two full time members of staff - one of whom is a qualified teacher, and another is a dedicated full time prison officer. There is another qualified teacher employed for three days a week. A literacy support worker, employed by Highland Council works for one full day a week to support individual learners experiencing difficulty in literacy and those with additional support needs. An employability officer also works with prisoners one day a week and a vocational tutor in plumbing and electrical engineering one day a week. A prisoner regularly supports and mentors other prisoners who have difficulties with literacy.
7.4 The prison officer who teaches ICT was making a significant contribution to the quality of prisoner learning experience and the positive climate for learning.
7.5 The Regimes Manager co-ordinates work parties and vocational training. One prison officer manages the cleaning work party but he is frequently re-deployed to cover other duties resulting in lack of continuity in the vocational training that this work party provides.
Access to Learning, Skills and Employability
7.6 All prisoners in Inverness have an entitlement to education, including those on remand and those serving short-term sentences. This is an area of good practice. Classes have been arranged effectively to best meet the needs of the varying categories of prisoner including vulnerable, women, convicted and remand. Between a third and one half of the prison population are regularly attending education classes.
7.7 The Learning Centre offers education for up to 16 prisoners at any one time. Work opportunities are available for around 46 prisoners through work parties in the laundry, kitchen, cleaning and employment as passmen. A very small number of these prisoners were successfully undertaking industry standard level 1 training courses in cleaning and others ICT modules in food hygiene and health and safety. Too few prisoners are able to access work-related training and insufficient priority is given to this aspect of preparation for release. There are no vocational training opportunities available for female or vulnerable prisoners.
7.8 Most prisoners who engage in educational activity successfully complete SQA modules and course awards in computing, numeracy, communications, art and design, mathematics, and English at levels ranging from Access 2 to Higher. The total number of prisoners attaining SQA certificates had risen from 111 in 2005-06 to 213 in 2006-07. In addition, a small number of prisoners have been successful in attaining certificated awards in plumbing and electrical engineering accredited by Motherwell College. A few prisoners have also successfully undertaken units as part of the of the European Computer Driving License award.
7.9 Any differential between pay for work and education does not disadvantage those attending education.
Assessment of Need
7.10 Almost all prisoners benefit from the induction programme which highlights opportunities within LSE. All prisoners who engage with education undergo an assessment to identify their educational needs. This allows staff to have some information on the skill levels and abilities of these individuals. As a result, these prisoners have individual learning logs which help staff to plan for their development of learning and skills more effectively. A very effective system is in place for recording learner progress and engagement with education.
7.11 The criteria for allocating prisoners to vocational training activities are unclear and not linked sufficiently to prior qualifications and experience.
Delivery of Learning
7.12 Staff take good account of the learner's individual characteristics when planning learning experiences. Their input to learning activities is well-judged and focused appropriately on the learner's needs. Staff use a range of effective methods to engage learners in tasks and make progress more effective.
7.13 Prisoners attending the Learning Centre receive high levels of individual support and encouragement from the teaching staff. This is particularly evident in the computing, art, numeracy, and communication programmes.
7.14 There are insufficient opportunities for prisoners to gain vocational qualifications and skills for employment. These are only available for those prisoners involved in cleaning and food hygiene. There are no arrangements in place to provide certification for work-based activities such as laundry and catering although a few do so in cleaning. The garden has become inoperable since the previous year, resulting in a lost opportunity to develop training in horticulture.
7.15 Links to external agencies to help promote learning for prisoners once released are not fully developed.
Prisoners' Learning Experiences
7.16 Staff successfully attempt to create learning contexts which reflect prisoners' interests. Experiences are adapted according to individual need. All prisoners engaging with education were developing at least one core skill from communication, literacy, numeracy and ICT. Other courses include employability skills and creativity involving art and guitar for a few prisoners.
7.17 Overall there are insufficient work opportunities for the number of prisoners and in some cases, due to staffing difficulties, prisoners are not able to participate in the work activity programmes that had been previously offered.
7.18 The small number of prisoners who are actively engaged in training programmes value their learning experience and consider the programme to be beneficial to their future employment.
7.19 There is regular access for all prisoners to physical activity and exercise programmes although this is within a narrow range of activities. A few prisoners have achieved coaching awards in Gym Instruction at level 1 and Resistance Training as well as elementary coaching awards through Scottish Football Association courses.
7.20 All prisoners attending the Learning Centre valued their learning experience and were making good progress in a range of curriculum areas. There was a good level of display of prisoners' work in the classroom areas. Prisoners engaged in education were undertaking courses of study appropriate to their needs and they were appreciative of the programmes on offer and valued their learning experiences.
7.21 Prisoners achieve qualifications in a range of curricular areas but in a very small number and narrow range of vocational areas. While staff value and recognise prisoner achievement, the learning centre could do more to encourage other staff and prisoners to share in celebrating the success of all learners.
7.22 Staff take advantage of opportunities to enhance learners experience by inviting guest authors and artists into the prison for occasional inputs.
7.23 There are insufficient opportunities for prisoners to integrate ICT into their learning in curricular areas other than computing.
Ethos and Values
7.24 There are very good relationships between prisoners and staff. In almost all cases this contributes effectively to a positive learning climate. There is a flexible approach adopted by staff to meeting the learning needs of individual prisoners. However the lack of workshop vocational training programmes results in prisoners not effectively engaging in meaningful activities for a large part of their week.
7.25 Insufficient liaison between and across all learning, skills, training and employability services results in missed opportunities for a coordinated approach to prisoner development and employability.
7.26 Arrangements for systematically evaluating and improving the quality of the prisoner experience across learning, skills and employability have been developed. An annual LSE portfolio review has been undertaken for the first time, which was proving to be an effective tool in benchmarking and setting targets to improve the quality of learners' experience.
7.27 The programme for work and training is not well developed. The little that is available is only providing skills development opportunities for the small number prisoners involved in cleaning duties. The programme provides training opportunities that are relevant to the current labour market for only a very small number of prisoners. Prisoners have regular access to education. Any differential between pay for work and education does not disadvantage those attending education.
7.28 The education programme allows for some development of creativity and self expression. Prisoners are not normally transferred in the middle of their education courses but it had happened on occasions.
7.29 Education classes often have to be rearranged because of other programmes that are taking place in the prison. Learning centre staff are not always given appropriate notice. Physical exercise and activity is available for all prisoners regularly and is appropriate to their age and ability. Due to limitations of facilities this is only possible within a narrow range of activities.
7.30 A passman manages the library. He is very committed and energetic in ensuring that the library is well managed and well used.
7.31 There are good arrangements in place to allow effective access to the library for all prisoners, with the exception of the vulnerable group. Around a third of the prisoner population make use of the library.
7.32 The library provides a welcoming environment where prisoners are encouraged and supported to use computers for writing CVs and letters. The computers in the library have been refurbished. The passman and others provide peer support for literacy learners and refer significant numbers of prisoners for specialist literacy support and for help with additional support needs.
7.33 A former prisoner has written a very high quality management information system for monitoring and managing the stock and usage of the library. This is an area of good practice.
Other out of Cell Activities
7.34 All prisoners have regular access to physical activity and exercise on most days. Around 50% participate on any particular day. Overall 90% of prisoners are engaged in physical activity. However, a lack of space and limited facilities only allow for a narrow range of activities. There is no gymnasium.
7.35 Prisoners have good access to recreation. The prison has some links with local clubs for football matches.
7.36 Work opportunities are available for around 46 prisoners. These are designed to meet the prison's own needs: kitchen, laundry and cleaning. However, the large workshop has been closed and no new work opportunities have replaced those lost from this workshop. Inverness is like other prisons in the disappearance of such workplaces. There is significantly less work available in Inverness since the last inspection. It is recommended that more useful work opportunities are available to prisoners.
Healthcare is provided to the same standard as in the community outside prison, available in response to need, with a full range of preventive services, promoting continuity with health services outside prison.
8.1 Met. The provision of healthcare is as good as that provided in the community.
8.2 The standard of healthcare in Inverness is very good. Access to healthcare staff is as good as that in the community, with an average waiting time of three days to see a doctor. Prisoners deliver their own requests for all healthcare appointments to the health centre as they pass there two or three times a day. Waiting times to see the dentist, podiatrist and optician are also good.
8.3 Psychiatry input is provided by New Craigs Hospital with a psychiatrist visiting once a week. The waiting time to see the psychiatrist is two weeks for general or non-urgent appointments. Mental health nurses will also see people in crisis and the psychiatrist will attend outside normal consulting times if required. The community forensic liaison nurse also sees prisoners one afternoon each week.
8.4 The prison makes use of agency nursing staff, with the same experienced nurses being used repeatedly. There is no issue with continuity of care.
8.5 Breast and cervical screening for female prisoners is conducted in liaison with Cornton Vale. A sexual health nurse from NHS Highland comes into the prison to do cervical smears.
8.6 The range of nurse-led clinics is good, with Blood Borne Virus, Sexual Health and Well-person and Chronic Disease Management (for asthma, diabetes, coronary heart disease) in place. However, long-term sick leave among staff is affecting the scheduling of the clinics and they are only ad hoc at present
8.7 The prison does not initiate methadone maintenance: although existing regimes are maintained. At the time of inspection, eight out of the 148 prisoners were receiving methadone - a relatively low proportion compared with other SPS establishments.
8.8 Addictions nurses are involved in smoking cessation sessions with Phoenix Futures and regular alcohol awareness weeks are run.
8.9 As noted in the previous inspection report, there is no separate sluice-type area within the health centre, resulting in any 'clean' preparation being conducted in the same area as, for example, urine testing. It is recommended that separate sluice-type areas for 'clean' preparations are created in the health centre.
Levels of Drug Use
8.10 Anecdotal evidence suggests that illegal drugs used tended to be opiates. Staff were not aware of a high incidence of injecting amongst prisoners. No management information on the use of illegal drugs was available.
8.11 There is no programme of mandatory drug testing in place. Apart from the bi-annual prevalence testing, testing is done on a suspicion basis only.
8.12 Phoenix Futures provides a range of services for prisoners with substance misuse problems. The service comprises one manager, one case worker and one part-time assistant administrator. The service is contracted to provide harm reduction awareness with all prisoners within five days of being admitted. Phoenix Futures process prisoners in groups and provide packs containing harm reduction literature and other written information. Eligibility criteria for referral to the Enhanced Addiction Casework Service ( EACS) are that adult male remand and convicted prisoners must be imprisoned for 31 days and more.
8.13 Following reception and induction prisoners access the service through the core screen process. They are asked by screening staff if they have an addiction problem and whether they want help. A positive response leads to an Integrated Case Management ( ICM) Substance Misuse Assessment by one of the Phoenix Futures staff. The service provides an assessment within five days of the referral being made on PR2. This assessment is kept in the prisoner's health file with a summary of the assessment detailed on PR2 in accordance with ICM.
8.14 Any prisoner who is not identified in the core screen process can be referred later by self referral, hall staff, health centre staff or by a range of other providers of services who use the Links Centre.
8.15 The assessment leads to a care plan which is reviewed every six weeks. Phoenix Futures provide a range of services including alcohol awareness, smoking cessation, relapse prevention, paraphernalia care planning, one-to-one support and motivational interviewing. They can also refer prisoners to programmes including SMART Recovery, Alcohol Awareness and Drug Action for Change.
8.16 The service has positive working relationships with partners. Key partners within the prison are health centre staff, addictions nurses and SPS staff providing substance misuse programmes. The service also links with community addictions services including NHS prescribing services in various localities, and local authority Throughcare Addictions Services ( TAS). They regularly participate in TAS pre-release meetings. The manager also sits on the local community drug groups.
8.17 Phoenix Futures were contracted to provide information about prison and community based services to families visiting the prison. However, this service has not been provided since July 2007. This should be resumed.
Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that prisoners are reintegrated safely into the community and where possible into a situation less likely to lead to further crime.
9.1 Partly met. There is no pre release course and the Links Centre is poor. There are very good links with Partner Organisations in the community and the prison is very well integrated with community support services. However, only one intervention to address offending behaviour is in place.
Integrated Case Management
9.2 The Deputy Governor leads on ICM management. She is also the MAPPA Co-ordinator. There are two members of staff responsible for the co-ordination of ICM. They have been trained in the use of the Risk Matrix 2000 risk assessment tool. Staff have also been in contact with other establishments in order to identify examples of good practice which could be adapted and implemented at Inverness.
9.3 All prisoners are subject to standard ICM. Proposals were being developed for an ICM process for short term prisoners, to be delivered by the ICM co-ordinator and a prison based social worker.
9.4 Enhanced ICM focuses on sex offenders and long-term prisoners. The weekly business printout indicated that there were 21 prisoners on Enhanced ICM, of whom 13 were sex offenders and/or Schedule 1 offenders. There had been 21 Case Conferences from February 2007 to time of inspection. In addition to standard biographical information, the printout includes dates for the initial Case Conference and subsequent Case Conferences; whether they had been booked; participants invited; the name of the prison based social worker; the name of the SPS officer contact; the local authority area to which the prisoner was to be released; and the name of the community based social worker. The printout also lists the names of others present at the Case Conference.
9.5 Enhanced ICM was working well at Inverness and key partners, particularly prison and community based social workers, had engaged well - with 100% attendance at meetings so far. Staff were also able to use video conferencing.
9.6 An ICM Assurance Process had been developed to ensure that staff were aware of and able to deliver each stage of the ICM process. There had also been a recent audit to analyse the impact of implementation. The outcome of this was generally favourable, with some areas for improvement identified.
9.7 Staff were generally very positive about the implementation and delivery of ICM at Inverness, commenting that the process was an improvement on Sentence Management.
Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour
9.8 The prison is currently running ' SMART' which is a programme directed at changing attitudes to offending. It has an emphasis on addictions. Seven prisoners were participating in the programme (four others who started the programme had been transferred or liberated). Four prisoners completed an Anger Awareness Programme in February 2007. A course aimed at prisoners convicted of motoring offences or with issues related to motoring has also been run.
9.9 Other programmes which are planned are Drug/Alcohol Awareness, Parenting and Employability. The addictions unit also run a Drug Awareness intervention.
9.10 The accommodation for the delivery of programmes is poor. Basically, there is one room which is used for a number of different purposes. The room can be double booked. The programmes team comprises one uniformed officer, an addictions worker and an addictions nurse. Delivery of programmes takes place alongside other tasks. There is no psychology input. It appears that delivery of programmes has all but disappeared in anticipation of the closer working which will be provided by the new Links Centre.
9.11 It is recommended that the delivery of interventions to address offending behaviour is reinvigorated, and that a systematic and planned approach to delivery, in suitable accommodation, is introduced.
9.12 An internal progression system exists for male prisoners. There is no progression system for females. Prisoner movement and progress is usually associated with access to employment and prisoners move to designated areas dependant on where their job is located.
9.13 The aspects of the regime which are different for those in employment are increased visit allocation and single cell accommodation (mainly in 'C' wing). A number of prisoners commented that there was very little added enhancement within the regime in comparison with other prisons.
9.14 Very few prisoners meet the criteria for transfer to the Open Estate.
9.15 Inverness engages with a number of partner organisations from the voluntary, criminal and community justice, health, and faith sectors. This includes the NHS (Sexual Health Services, Consultant Psychiatrist, Community Liaison Nurse), Criminal Justice Social Work, Throughcare Addictions Service ( TAS), Moray New Futures, the Shirlie Project, Alcoholics Anonymous, Citizens Advice, Jobcentre Plus, and the Prison Fellowship.
9.16 The prison is also represented on, and inputs to, a number of external partner meetings which are held in the community. Examples include the Highland and Moray Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, the Criminal Justice Subgroup of the Highland DAAT, MAPPA Implementation Group, Joint Highland Homeless Strategy Group, Men's Highland Health, Mentally Disordered Offenders Group, and the Inverness Drug and Alcohol Forum.
Preparation for Release
9.17 There is no formal pre release course in place. However, a pre-release interview for convicted male prisoners is undertaken by officers from "E" wing on a one-to-one basis two to three days prior to release. At this session the officer discusses discharge grants, Jobcentre Plus, drug tolerance levels and housing issues. Housing applications are made at this stage if the prisoner is of no fixed abode. The officer inputs any additional data or information about referrals onto PR2. A similar process is undertaken on a one-to-one basis for women.
9.18 However, there was evidence that although this process is being undertaken on a regular basis the paperwork is not being filed appropriately. Boxes of completed proformas were being stacked in the Induction Room, and then transferred to the attic. This could cause a problem should this information be required quickly if a prisoner is reconvicted and sent back to Inverness. This should be addressed.
9.19 Integrated Case Management Case Conferences are held for all individuals six weeks prior to release. Community Integration Plans are developed at this point. Prisoners are invited to these meetings. It was apparent that Inverness is very well integrated with community support services, particularly in relation to health and addictions support.
9.20 Community Integration Plan Meetings are held in the Visits Area on a Friday morning. The meeting is chaired by a Unit Manager. This multi agency group comprises representatives from the Throughcare Addiction Service ( TAS), Jobcentre Plus, Apex, Osprey House, the ICM/ HDC Co-ordinator, a representative from healthcare and Phoenix Futures. Individuals who have been released or are just about to be released are discussed in detail by this group. This is an excellent opportunity for the prison to receive feedback on how prisoners are integrating into the community and is an area of good practice.
10. GOOD PRACTICE
10.1 The catering department and the health centre work together to ensure that medical issues related to diet are addressed (paragraph 2.45).
10.2 When a prisoner is assessed as requiring ACT2Care procedures the prison's approach is to organise an immediate Case Conference (paragraph 3.29).
10.3 All prisoners in Inverness have an entitlement to education, including those on remand and those serving short-term sentences (paragraph 7.6).
10.4 A previous prisoner has written a very high quality management information system for monitoring and managing the stock and usage of the library (paragraph 7.33).
10.5 The multi agency weekly Community Integration Plan meetings to discuss prisoners who have been released or are just about to be released (paragraph 9.20).
11.1 The electricity should not be turned off at night in the dormitory area in 'C' wing (paragraph 2.19).
11.2 The accommodation in 'D' wing should be improved and cells without windows should not be used (paragraph 2.23).
11.3 All toilets in cells should be enclosed (paragraphs 2.28 and 6.21).
11.4 Arrangements for maintaining family contact should be improved and the whole family strategy reviewed (paragraph 5.5).
11.5 A new visits facility should be created (paragraph 5.11).
11.6 More useful work opportunities should be available to prisoners (paragraph 7.36).
11.7 Separate sluice-type areas for 'clean' preparations should be created in the health centre (paragraph 8.9).
11.8 The delivery of interventions to address offending behaviour should be reinvigorated, and a systematic and planned approach to delivery, in suitable accommodation, should be introduced (paragraph 9.11).
12. ACTION POINTS
12.1 Lockers in cells should be able to lock (paragraphs 2.7 and 2.14).
12.2 Torn curtains in cells should be replaced (paragraphs 2.8 and 2.13).
12.3 Stained mattresses in 'B' hall should be replaced (paragraph 2.13).
12.4 Remand prisoners should be able to access a recreation area (paragraph 2.16).
12.5 The furniture in the recreation area in 'C' wing should be replaced (paragraph 2.21).
12.6 The windows in the recreation area in 'C' wing should be repaired (paragraph 2.21).
12.7 Referral and complaints forms should be available in 'C' wing (paragraph 2.22).
12.8 The cells for disabled prisoners should be more accessible for wheelchair-bound prisoners (paragraphs 2.28 and 4.8).
12.9 A number of cells in 'E' wing should be cleaned (paragraph 2.30).
12.10 The exercise yard at the back of 'B' hall should have a seated area (paragraph 2.39).
12.11 Scotvec qualifications in the kitchen should be reintroduced (paragraph 2.42).
12.12 The lack of qualifications available in the laundry should be reviewed (paragraph 2.50).
12.13 Prisoners should be issued with new underwear on admission to the prison (paragraphs 2.50 and 3.16).
12.14 Reasons for allocating a prisoner's supervision level should be written on the relevant form, and the prisoner should sign this form (paragraph 3.5).
12.15 Prisoners under escort should be given a safety briefing prior to commencement of their journey (paragraph 3.11).
12.16 There should be more quality information notices, including foreign languages, available in reception (paragraphs 3.13 and 3.18).
12.17 A contingency should be developed for those occasions when a prisoner arrives in the evening not already having received an evening meal (paragraph 3.20).
12.18 Families should be encouraged to participate in the induction process and more information should be made available to them (paragraph 3.26).
12.19 The safe cells in 'B' hall and in the female unit should be equipped to the recommended SPS standard (paragraph 3.30).
12.20 Two prisoners should only be placed together in one safe cell following a robust assessment that this is the most appropriate approach (paragraph 3.31).
12.21 An individual person centred approach based on risk and need, in line with policy guidelines, should be adopted for prisoners assessed as being at high risk of self-harm (paragraph 3.32).
12.22 Appropriate facilities for confidential Listener interviews and ACT2Care Case Conferences should be found (paragraphs 3.34 and 3.35).
12.23 Planned prisoner removals should be video recorded (paragraph 3.39).
12.24 Some of the night duty instructions and paperwork should be updated (paragraph 3.41).
12.25 All staff should wear their name badges (paragraph 4.3).
12.26 Equality and Diversity impact assessments should be carried out on establishment policies (paragraph 4.6).
12.27 The Equality and Diversity Group should become less reactive and more strategic in how it conducts its business (paragraph 4.11).
12.28 A booking system for visits should be considered (paragraph 5.10).
12.29 More information about the visiting arrangements should be made available (paragraph 5.12).
12.30 A telephone should be installed in 'C' wing (paragraph 5.14).
12.31 The signage of some rooms in the prison should be updated (paragraph 5.17).
12.32 A more appropriate location for the Orderly Room should be found (paragraph 6.3).
12.33 The threat of moving prisoners to another prison if they misbehave should not be used to make prisoners wary of making a legitimate complaint (paragraph 6.20).
12.34 More prisoners should be able to access work-related training and more priority should be given to this aspect of preparation for release (paragraph 7.7).
12.35 Consideration should be given to providing vocational training opportunities for female and vulnerable prisoners (paragraph 7.7).
12.36 The criteria for allocating prisoners to vocational training activities should be made clear and should be linked sufficiently to prior qualifications and experience (paragraph 7.11).
12.37 There should be more opportunities for prisoners to gain vocational qualifications and skills for employment (paragraph 7.14).
12.38 The learning centre should do more to encourage other staff and prisoners to share in celebrating the success of all learners (paragraph 7.21).
12.39 There should be more opportunities for prisoners to integrate ICT into their learning in curricular areas other than computing (paragraph 7.23).
12.40 There should be sufficient liaison between and across all learning, skills, training and employability services to allow a co-ordinated approach to prisoner development and employability (paragraph 7.25).
12.41 Phoenix Futures should provide information about prison and community based addictions services to families visiting the prison (paragraph 8.17).
12.42 A formal pre release course should be introduced (paragraph 9.17).
12.43 The paperwork arising from pre release interviews should be properly filed and stored for easy retrieval if required (paragraph 9.18).
Sources of Evidence
Written material and statistics received from the prison prior to Inspection
SPS Prisoner Survey
Prison background material
Discussions with prisoners
Discussions with prisoners' families
Focus groups with prisoners
Interviews with prisoners
Interviews with prison staff
Focus groups with staff
Andrew R C McLellan
HM Chief Inspector
John T McCaig
HM Deputy Chief Inspector
HM Assistant Chief Inspector
Social Work Inspection Agency
Addictions and Social Work Adviser