The annual report for 2015 published by the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Gartree highlights concerns about the quality and quantity of work available to prisoners; property losses, especially during transfers from other prisons; and the use of ‘legal highs’.
The Governor has requested a review of staffing levels to meet increasing demands being placed on the establishment and the Board supports this.
The Board recognises that the adoption of new procedures has reduced the incidence of long-term stays in the Segregation unit (SAPU), however, the length of time to arrange transfer to an appropriate secure hospital for prisoners with mental health issues is still too long. The Board is also concerned that the new rules relating to the length of stay in segregation units may lead to an increase in ‘SEG to SEG’ transfers between establishments.
The Board shares the Governor’s desire that the analysis of internal security information be improved and suggests that other aspects of internal reporting be reviewed.
The Board is concerned at the delay in appointing a new Anglican Chaplain.
It has become evident that the new Works contract, for internal maintenance, is proving problematic. To some extent this is because the contract, when it was drawn up, did not cover situations which are now arising.