Standard 3 – Personal Safety
The prison takes all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all prisoners.
All appropriate steps are taken to minimise the levels of harm to which prisoners are exposed. Appropriate steps are taken to protect prisoners from harm from others or themselves. Where violence or accidents do occur, the circumstances are thoroughly investigated and appropriate management action taken.
Overall Rating: Satisfactory performance
The majority of staff, prisoners and those visiting HMP Addiewell stated that they felt safe. However, some prisoners and staff reported that they had felt less safe. The biggest concerns raised was where there were both offence and non‑offence prisoners in the same hall. Both groups acknowledged that protection prisoners generally chose not to part take in recreation or access time in the open air due to concerns about their safety.
Concerns were also raised about the safety of those working and living in HMP Addiewell because of the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS). This was due to the unpredictability of the reaction to taking these substances and the unknown longer‑term effects these substances might have on people. HMP Addiewell had worked extremely hard with Police Scotland and other external agencies to better understand the extent and impact of NPS upon the prison.
HMP Addiewell appeared to deal positively with those who presented as at risk. However, it was noted that on occasion prisoners were placed on TTM for support with self‑harming, which is not within the TTM guidelines and is something that the prison needs to address. There was a robust audit and control system in place for TTM, managed by the Harm to Self and Others Manager. Any issues were dealt with swiftly and reported to the senior management team through meetings and dashboards.
In cases where there were high levels of self‑harm, prisoners had an Insights Plan that monitored and supported the person in minimising the risk off hurting themselves. When investigating the three prisoners who were on TTM during the week of the inspection, staff were able to explain the management of these prisoners and how to get support through the translation phone line, the mental health team, or using the chaplaincy for extra assistance.
The establishment had a good anti‑violence strategy and met regularly to review all incidents and draw up action points, which also included anti‑bullying. There were comprehensive documents on both anti‑violence and bullying available to all staff along with training. These documents defined the subject matter and included clear guidelines on how to manage each topic. Staff had a good understanding of both strategies.
The frequent observation of staff being at their desk rather than being out and about in the hall did not lend itself to a consistent approach to building relationships with prisoners, and having a better understanding of the risk to those within the establishment. However, it was recognised that this was a result of staff shortages and a lack of experience, where 38% of staff had less than two years’ experience. A more stable and experience staff group should improve the management of risk within HMP Addiewell in the future.