In its annual report for the period of 2018-19 the Independent Monitoring Board – made up of volunteers appointed by Ministers to ensure prisoners are treated fairly and humanely – reports that:
- The Board is deeply concerned at the level of violence used against staff, up by 30% on the previous year.The Board needs the Governor to take all measures necessary to reduce the levels of violence, self-harm, bullying, drug taking and drug smuggling by maintaining adequate staffing.
- The Board is dismayed at the deterioration of the fabric of the prison and seeks to ensure Gartree is given enough budget to prevent such basic problems as leaking roofs and insanitary showers.
- The Board continues to be concerned the long-term segregation of prisoners with complex mental health needs.
- There has been poor handling of prisoner complaints and those complaints that concern lost property.
The IMB Chair, Tim Norman says “ Whilst the Board welcomes the improvements the new NHS Healthcare provider has delivered and the efforts that have been made to improve the daily regime, we remain concerned about the level of violence shown towards staff (up 30%) and the deterioration in the fabric of the buildings”