In their 2019-20 Annual Report published today, independent monitors at HMP Gartree – who are volunteers appointed by Ministers to ensure that prisoners are treated fairly and humanely – highlighted a number of areas over the reporting year.
- The unexpected and unprecedented impact of the Covid 19 pandemic hit the prison hard. A severely restricted regime centrally imposed across the prison estate presented immense challenges for both prisoners and staff. The Board recognises the professionalism of the staff and forbearance of the prisoners in coping with the crisis.
- As in previous years, the Board is dismayed that sufficient budget has not been provided to allow urgent repairs to be carried out to the fabric of the buildings and facilities within the establishment.
- The Board is concerned about the IPP prisoners (imprisonment for public protection) being held at Gartree and indeed elsewhere, many years over their sentence. The Board is asking for urgent Government action to address this issue.
The IMB Chair, Tim Norman says “The pandemic will have had a major impact on prisoners for their mental health and physical well being. The Prison Service needs to ensure that post Covid 19 Gartree will be sufficiently funded so that prisoners’ access to employment, purposeful activity, education and healthcare will seek to address the impacts as quickly as possible.