Report on HMP Kilmarnock Follow-up Inspection, 14-19 July 2014

3. Progress on Good Practice

3.1 All night staff are first-aid trained (paragraph 2.14).

This remains an area of Good Practice. All operational staff in HMP Kilmarnock complete First Aid at Work training and attend refresher training as required.

3.2 The Prisoner Supervision System Boards (paragraph 2.34).

This remains an area of good practice. Since the full inspection in 2011, the Prisoner Supervision System now includes input from the Personal Officer alongside ICM and the Health Centre staff. The opportunity for prisoners to be invited to attend is still a feature, although a number of prisoners noted that this does not happen in every instance.

3.3 The on-going programme of cleaning and maintenance (paragraph 3.11).

This remains an area of Good Practice. The level of cleanliness in all communal areas observed during the inspection demonstrate continuation of this area of good practice. Communal areas within the residential accommodation and activity facility are clean, well maintained and free from litter. The gardens are well kept and provide pleasant surroundings both in the prison and in the grounds around the car park and main entrance. There are 12 prisoners employed in each Wing as passmen and one employed as a painter. Those passman spoken with, were able to describe the cleaning schedules they operate and can identified the proper cleaning materials and equipment used in relation to infection control guidance. The use of prisoners as 'in-house' painters ensures that the communal residential accommodation is continually maintained. While the buildings themselves now look slightly dated when compared with some of the new or recently developed SPS establishments, there is little evidence of chipped paint and grubby walls often seen in these prisons.

3.4 The training kitchen (paragraph 3.31).

This remains an area of good practice. At the time of the follow-up inspection there were three prisoners undertaking Level 1 SVQ in catering within the training kitchen, two of whom had been working towards their qualifications for one month and one prisoner who had been engaged in this activity for four months. Each candidate is allowed to progress at a pace commensurate with his ability and while most prisoners successfully complete their training in one year, a few previous candidates have managed to achieve their qualification in only three months.

Those undertaking this training are selected from a pool of approximately 28 prisoners employed in the main kitchen as a consequence of showing potential or through self-selection. Participation is on a full-time basis with an incentive of additional payments of 50 pence per shift above the average kitchen wage. As well as the theoretical training, the trainees' practical experience includes preparation of the food served in the staff cafeteria and meals for those prisoners with special dietary requirements.

In addition to this good practice, catering staff now also deliver training in Health, Hygiene and Food safety levels 1 and 2 to all prisoners working in the kitchen and have a plan in place to roll-out the same training to all pantry passmen in the Houseblocks. Similarly, this training at level 2 is delivered to all new operational staff recruited to HMP Kilmarnock during their initial training period. The group of recruits who graduated during the time of the follow-up inspection had all successfully completed the training course and gained their qualification. This is positive.

3.5 Remand prisoners can order their meal the day before (paragraph 3.33).

This remains an area of good practice. Untried prisoners in HMP Kilmarnock are provided with a default menu choice on the day of their admission; thereafter they are able to select the meal of their choice on a daily basis. The default menu choice will be the vegetarian option. There is provision to order meals up to one week in advance for remand prisoners if they choose to do so. Convicted prisoners can use the kiosk system to select their menu choices from three days to three weeks in advance.

3.6 Catering staff visit the halls when meals are being served and record the temperature of the food at time of eating (paragraph 3.35).

This remains an area of good practice. One member of staff from the catering department attends a different pantry every day to observe the evening meal being served and, at the same time, takes and records the temperature of the food as it is being served. These daily visits also afford the attending catering officer together with staff and prisoners from that Wing opportunities to discuss all aspects of the delivery of catering services within HMP Kilmarnock.

3.7 Staff development training (paragraph 3.47).

This remains an area of good practice. There is a strong focus on training and development with Investors in People Silver Award status being gained. The establishment could nevertheless improve the experience of new employees by including more non-classroom style learning. It was however noted that new PCO recruits are given 1.5 weeks of shadowing when they arrive on the Wing or in post.

3.8 The visits experience (paragraph 3.67).

This remains an area of good practice. The arrangements for visiting prisoners in HMP Kilmarnock and the facilities provided for visitors described in the 2011 full inspection report remain in place. The waiting room has seen some alterations since then and now provides more space with easier access to the information available about the prison, community-based organisations who offer support and nation-wide offender services such as Families Outside. This is positive.

While those prisoners spoken with during focus groups were not fully aware of the role or, in some instances, the existence of Family Contact Officers (FCO), all staff who provide this service wear name badges which identify that aspect of their job and have their photographs displayed in the visits area. In addition, each FCO is allocated responsibility for one Wing within a Houseblock and visits his or her allocated residential area once per week during which time they can uplift completed, prisoner-generated referral forms. This is positive.

Visiting times have altered in response to the changes in population and to introduce and accommodate different types of visits including play motivator visits and a breakfast club. While these changes are welcome, it is unfortunate that the new arrangements have not produced an increase in the uptake of those attending with many visit sessions operating at a fraction of their capacity. It is also concerning to note that two of the three family-orientated visit sessions are directly linked to the IEP Scheme currently in operation in HMP Kilmarnock which means that prisoners' participation, and ultimately contact with their children, is behaviour-dependent. This is a weakness.

Recommendation 11: HMP Kilmarnock should ensure that visit entitlements between prisoners and their children are not related to the level attained in the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme.

At the time of the follow-up inspection, the prison was awaiting the results of a funding application from The Big Lottery which, if successful, would provide the necessary resources to improve the external play area and provide a soft play facility for those children visiting the prison.

3.9 The approach adopted by PT staff (paragraph 4.17).

This remains an area of good practice. The PT facility has continued to build on and extend good practice. Highly committed PT staff work well with external agencies and colleagues in other areas of the prison to continuously broaden and enhance opportunities for offenders to improve their health and fitness levels. This includes the introduction of touch rugby, targeted fitness programmes for prisoners over 40 and 60 years of age and Fit Fans programme with Kilmarnock Football club. Good collaboration with a range of external bodies has resulted in a range of motivational events including a visit by Scotland's commonwealth games rugby sevens team.

The PT facility has introduced a new programme Understanding Health Improvement: Level 2 (Royal Society for Public Health). Seven members of the PT department completed training to deliver the programme and 11 prisoners have participated in training to undertake the role of Health Champions across the prison. The Health Champions organise a wide range of events to stimulate interest and participation in sports activities. This includes coordinating promotion of health and wellbeing within residential Wings, organising family and prison events and running fitness clubs such as Belly Aff. This is an area of good practice.

The work of the PT facility reflects the themes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence. PT staff would benefit from increasing their knowledge of CfE, particularly in relation to Health and Wellbeing, to affirm and inform future planning of provision. Due to the impact of PT activities on the prison population, it would be helpful if induction of new prison staff included the work of the PT department in contributing to the wider work of the prison.

3.10 The standard of pastoral care, the facilities in which prisoners can worship and the level of purposeful activity within the Multi‑Faith Centre (MFC) (paragraph 4.35).

This remains an area of good practice. Since the time of the Prison's last full inspection, the chaplaincy team has reduced in size and now comprises representation from Church of Scotland, Free Church, Roman Catholic and Muslim faiths. All four chaplains are employed on a part-time basis and can draw on representatives from Buddhist and Sikh religions as and when required. In addition, the Salvation Army and the Prison Fellowship regularly attend the MFC. This level of service supported by an albeit reduced number of volunteers continues to provide a broad range of pastoral care of a good standard.

The MFC in HMP Kilmarnock provides fit for purpose, well-maintained facilities and a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for all those who use the accommodation.

In addition to traditional religious services, the chaplaincy team continue to provide and facilitate a wide range of courses including 'Christianity Explored' and 'Sycamore Tree'. In response to a recommendation made by HMCIP in 2011, all programmed offending behaviour interventions are now delivered in the MFC. Chaplains and programme facilitators share the facilities and both groups' activities are scheduled in such a way as to allow maximum use of this valuable resource.

HMP Kilmarnock has experienced some difficulties in relation to Chaplaincy in recent years however the current team are working together to re-establish their position and strengthen relationships between themselves and other disciplines within the prison. There is evidence of strong leadership from the Head of Offender Outcomes and a sense of collaborative working amongst the new chaplaincy team which has resulted in a range of events taking, or planned to take, place including involvement in Lifers' Day, special visits on Mothering Sunday and Fathers' Day, visits to SPS and Serco prisons, development of bereavement services and delivery of anti-sectarianism awareness through the Conforti Institute. This is encouraging.

3.11 The self‑help and guided help workbooks for prisoners with low mood and depression, sleep problems and self‑harm (paragraph 4.57).

This remains an area of good practice. The provision of self-help materials and support for those prisoners who experience low mood, anxiety, sleep problems and self-harm continue to be provided. There is additional self-help guidance available for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Access to self-help and guided materials is predominantly nurse led. Healthcare staff ensure that enhanced support is provided to prisoners with poor literacy skills by discussing with them the content of and approach advocated within the self-help materials.

A proposal is in place for HMP Kilmarnock to access 'NHS Living Life' Therapeutic Services (NHS 24) which, when operational, will provide access to telephone-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Guided Self Help. If approved, mental health services will be enhanced whilst supporting the principle of equivalence of healthcare provision with services provided in the community.

3.12 The alcohol awareness courses carried out by the Addictions Team (paragraph 4.66).

This remains an area of good practice. Alcohol awareness and substance misuse courses continue to be delivered within the prison. Courses and potential options for help are promoted by PCOs and healthcare staff as part of the induction process.

The courses now run over an expanded 12 sessions and are delivered in both group and 1:1 formats. Groups consist of 10 prisoners per cohort with approximately 60-70% completion rates reported. All referrals are seen within 3 weeks of referral, thereby meeting the requirements of the 2013 HEAT (Health, Efficiency, Access and Treatment).

In addition to the core sessions two reviews take place following completion at three monthly intervals and a further pre-release review is provided to enhance the impact of participation. This is an additional area of good practice.

3.13 The Smoking Cessation Services provided by NHS Ayrshire and Arran (paragraph 4.67).

This remains an area of good practice. An extensive smoking cessation programme is in place and has now been reviewed to accommodate untried prisoners. The service is primarily run on a group basis and usually delivered in the gymnasium area. This is an ideal venue as it provides the opportunity to promote connections between smoking cessation and increased physical activity and health education.

Staff who are interested in giving up smoking are also supported through a drop-in facility run by the healthcare staff which takes account of operational shift patterns.

Posters promoting smoking cessation activity are displayed throughout the establishment. There is also an offer of support to family members and visitors promoted via the Lighthouse organisation.

Facilitated primarily by the NHS Ayrshire and Arran Health Promotion Department, prisoners are being trained as Health Champions on a voluntary basis. In addition to local activity, Health Promotion staff are involved in national approaches such as the National Tobacco Group. Activity includes the mapping of referral pathways between establishments to ensure continuity of approach and on-going support to those prisoners who have been transferred to other prisons.

3.14 The Family Strategy includes actions required, target dates and progress against each key area (paragraph 4.73).

This remains an area of good practice. The prison's Family Strategy Team, chaired by the Assistant Director, Offender Outcomes, continues to undertake effective action planning. A two year action plan covering the period 2014/16 has been prepared and published in which the team have identified six core areas to deliver services and support to the families of prisoners held in HMP Kilmarnock.
The action plan covers the following areas:

  • Development of the Strategy
  • Enhanced Induction
  • Promotion of Health and Wellbeing
  • Education and Personal Development
  • Parenting Support
  • Pre-release Preparation.

In addition, the team have produced a separate action plan to deliver the seven parenting outcomes identified by SPS, with responsibilities shared across the prison, local community agencies and national partner organisations including third sector representation.

A review of the minutes from the team's previous three meetings demonstrate increased team participation since the time of the last inspection with additional internal representation now included from the Learning Centre, Gymnasium, ICM and Chaplaincy.

3.15 The protocol for dealing with people who are on a Home Detention Curfew who just turn up at the gate to hand themselves in (paragraph 4.85).

This remains an area of good practice. The number of prisoners who breach their Home Detention Curfew (HDC) by turning up at the prison is low, with only one instance between January and June 2014. However the protocol for dealing with prisoners who breach their HDC in this manner is still in place. If a prisoner hands themselves in at the gate they are separated from other prisoners for up to three days during which time they will be interviewed by management, routinely searched and scanned by a drug detection dog in the hope that any items of contraband can be recovered. Once management are content the prisoner has no contraband they will return to normal circulation.

3.16 The standard of record keeping, accuracy and attention to detail in relation to the management of Integrated Case Management (paragraph 4.97).

This remains an area of good practice. The psychology team leader, working directly to the Assistant Director, Offender Outcomes, manages a group of offender outcomes officers, five of which have specific responsibility for the co-ordination of ICM within the prison. From a study of a sample of their work and through discussion with a representative of the group, it is evident that the quality of record keeping in relation to ICM has been maintained.

Training in risk management has been delivered locally to ICM Co-ordinators, Programme Facilitators, Psychology Assistants, Lifer Support Officers, Lifer Liaison Officers and Operational Managers which in addition to covering the concept of risk and the impact of intervention also includes interviewing and report writing skills. This is positive.