Report on Full Inspection of HMP & YOI Grampian: 4 - 15 February 2019

HMIPS Standard 4

Effective, Courteous and Humane Exercise of Authority

The prison performs the duties both to protect the public by detaining prisoners in custody and to respect the individual circumstances of each prisoner by maintaining order effectively, with courtesy and humanity

The prison ensures that the thorough implementation of security and supervisory duties is balanced by courteous and humane treatment of prisoners and visitors to the prison.  Procedures relating to perimeter, entry and exit security, and the personal safety, searching, supervision and escorting of prisoners are implemented effectively.  The level of security and supervision is not excessive.

Inspection Findings
Overall Rating: Satisfactory performance

Satisfactory performance

There was clear evidence to support some good performance within the establishment, however it was undermined by the lack of supporting documentation.  All staff were aware of the security within the establishment and whilst they were trying their best, they were working under extreme staff shortages.

There was clearly a caring approach and emphasis on dignity during all searches, orderly room proceedings, and case conferences that were witnessed during the inspection.

There was clear evidence that the removal of individuals was being carried out in a humane way, and supporting documentation and reviews were present after every incident.  However, it was disappointing to note that not all planned removals were recorded.

It was concerning to see hard copies of individuals Special Security Measures (SSM) forms sitting out in the staff consoles in full sight of prisoners walking past.  HMP YOI Grampian should find another way of keeping SSM forms safe and secure, away from the population, to protect prisoner confidentiality.

All admissions were treated with courtesy and respect during the transition into and out of the establishment, and there was a continuous improvement team looking at items allowed in use.

All traffic entering and exiting the establishment were robustly searched and staff were polite and respectful on all occasions.

The establishment had excellent links to Police Scotland to ensure a joint approach to dealing with emerging issues such as NPS use.

There was evidence of appropriate use of Rule 41, 95 and SSM, with good supporting documentation.

The route movement was controlled but lengthy, with the average time taking approximately 35 minutes.

It was disappointing to note that intelligence led Mandatory Drug Tests (MDT) were not being carried out. During the previous inspection this was regarded as good practice and was now a single point of failure.  HMP YOI Grampian should reconsider this approach and look at the impact of not implementing intelligence led MDT testing.

Staff throughout the establishment were aware of the importance of security. All searching observed was conducted to ensure dignity was maintained throughout.  All staff spoken to were aware of the appropriate use of force (UOF) and it was encouraging to see the importance placed on this by the management team, where every UOF was reviewed, which included viewing all available Close Circuit Television (CCTV).  All UOF and violent incidents were reviewed at the fortnightly Safer Prisons Forum.

Whilst the use of separation was generally proportionate and lawful there were occasions where both Rule 95 and Rule 41 were used back to back, extending the period a prisoner was removed from association to up to six days.  HMP YOI Grampian and the SPS should review this approach to avoid using two separate rules consecutively when dealing with individuals with problematic and changeable behaviour.

Case conferences observed and documentation checked confirmed that the focus was reintegration, and prisoners were encouraged to give their input and to agree on reintegration plans.  Where required, specialist support staff were invited to attend.