In its recently published Annual Report, covering the 12 months to 31st August 2017, HMP/YOI Chelmsford’s Independent Monitoring Board highlights that, for the majority of the reporting period, the Prison suffered from inadequate staffing levels, which meant that prisoners spent very long periods locked in their cells, disrupting their ability to work and to access education which, in the Board’s view, engenders frustration, often leading to violence.
The IMB also reports on the continued high levels of violence and instances of concerted indiscipline, often associated with the trafficking of drugs, which the Prison experienced during the 12 months under review.
The Board’s third major concern relates to the effectiveness of the Prison’s healthcare services. Again, in its view, too many prisoners with, often serious, mental health issues continued to be held in conditions which were not conducive to their wellbeing or safety. The report also records that, the healthcare providers for much of the reporting period – Care UK – failed to provide a service which adequately catered for the needs of prisoners.
On a more positive note the report acknowledges the professionalism and commitment of the Prison’s managers and staff working in very trying conditions, often under great pressure.
Read the report in full here.