Independent Monitors for HMP Altcourse, who are appointed by Ministers to check that prisons are fair, just and humane, say in their annual report about the prison that:
- The introduction of new initiatives, including Pets as Therapy, the enhanced use of prisoner mentors, and the work of the Safer Custody Team, have all contributed to a reduction in violence, and self harm
- Seriously ill prisoners have received palliative care with compassion and professionalism.
- The prison continues to work towards ensuring that safety, decency, and dignity are embedded throughout the establishment.
However the Board remains concerned that:
- prisoners, who frequently have physical and mental health needs, have to wait eight weeks to see a GP
- there is a lack of clarity about which team in the prison is responsible for prisoners release and resettlement, causing confusion for prisoners, who are nevertheless released on the appropriate day
- unappetising meals which are a cause of frustration to both staff and prisoners
Despite facing the same challenges as other prisons, both prisoners and staff report feeling safer than at other prisons.
Read the report in full here.