Highpoint becoming a more dangerous place for prisoners and staff, says IMB

In this report the Board has concerns about the prevalence of the drug, NPS, (spice) at Highpoint. This together with low staffing levels means that the prison is becoming a more dangerous place for prisoners and staff. The Board stresses the need for greater levels of investment in the Prison Estate across the country.

The prison is now a resettlement establishment for prisoners from London and Essex, meaning many of the prisoners find themselves far from family, with little hope of being transferred. This, along with low staffing levels, has led to a feeling of unrest, and a noticeable increase in incidents.

However the Board has seen some positive changes, with a lot of work going into the ‘Amends, Pathway to Opportunity’ programme giving prisoners the tools to work towards their ‘journey’ to resettlement with in the community. Many outside agencies and employers working with the prison service to provide prisoners with the support they need prior to being released.

Although the prison has still not achieved the highest level of performance, it is meeting most of its targets and delivering a reasonable and decent regime, and the Board acknowledges the dedication of staff, again working hard in difficult circumstances, dealing with challenging behaviour, curtailments and changes in regime.