High security prison remains safe despite Covid 19 pressures


In the Full Sutton 2020 annual report published today, the Board concluded that the high security prison near Stamford Bridge, continued to provide a safe and secure environment for prisoners and staff during 2020 despite the pressures created by the pandemic.

  • Restrictions were imposed which meant most work, education, and association ceased for prisoners, who spent much of their day in their cells.
  • Prisoners recognised the seriousness of the situation in the community and most coped well with the increased restrictions.
  • A video link was established to enable prisoners to keep in touch with their families.
  • There were fewer incidents of violence between prisoners, towards staff, and of self-harm in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Prison governors and staff were successful in limiting the spread of COVID 19 within the prison, while maintaining safety and security, and the report recognises the continuous effort and hard work that was necessary to achieve this.
  • Despite restrictions, the monitors are satisfied that prisoners were treated fairly and humanely.
  • The pandemic has meant that planned improvements to, and increases in, the provision of education and employment, recommended last year, could not take place.  The position will continue to be monitored in 2021.

Richard Terry, Chair of the IMB, says:

“HMP Full Sutton houses some of the country’s most serious offenders. 2020 was a difficult year for prisoners and staff alike. Our overall assessment is that prisoners were treated fairly by the regime, despite the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Action was taken where possible to mitigate the effect of the restrictions, and the prisoners themselves coped well. The Governor and staff, through effort and hard work, limited the spread of the virus, maintained security, and ensured the environment was as safe as possible”.