HMP Brinsford is a prison for male young offenders between the ages of 18 and 21 and, just recently, a small number of adult Category C prisoners.
The IMB at Brinsford consists of 8 volunteers who regularly visit the prison to monitor the conditions under which the prisoners are held in custody. They made over 350 visits to the prison last year to monitor standards and produce a report, for the Minister, to highlight any concerns they may have.
The Annual Report for the period from August 2015 to July 2016 has just been published. In the report concerns raised by Brinsford IMB include the following:
- the decreasing staffing levels putting pressure on the prison regime and leading to higher levels of staff sickness, are making things even worse.
- the private contract for the maintenance of the establishment is not working well, with some accommodation out of use for a considerable amount of time.
- the board remain concerned about the amount of time prisoners are not involved in purposeful activity and, consequently, spend too much time locked in their cells.
- the time it takes to transfer prisoners with mental health problems to outside hospitals means they do not always get the help they need quickly enough.
- the quality of some of the refurbishment work in the accommodation blocks is disappointing, with paintwork peeling just a few weeks after completion.
- the board continues to have a good working relationship with the senior staff at the prison and commends all the staff for working hard, under difficult conditions, to provide the best care.
- drugs remain a problem, but the staff work hard to tackle the smuggling of drugs into the prison. The number of drug finds increased during the period of the report.