HMP Ashfield stands out as a high performing prison

In their 2017-18 annual report the IMB at HMP Ashfield note that Ashfield:

  • is a very safe and secure prison where prisoners are treated with respect, decency and humanity;
  • benefits from strong leadership and a culture of continuous improvement which have delivered significant improvements in the last twelve months; and
  • fulfils its role very well as a specialist training and treatment prison for men convicted of sexual offences providing education, programmes, training and purposeful activity.

However, HMP Ashfield is experiencing “bed blocking” due to the difficulties placing prisoners who have been re-categorised as suitable for Cat D (open conditions) due to the shortage of cat D places particularly in the south of England.

IMB HMP Ashfield Chair, Ann Morton, said:

“In the current climate where prisons are making the headlines for all the wrong reasons it is reassuring to know that there are prisons where in a twelve month period there has been no illegal drug or mobile phone finds and no assaults on officers.  

The pervading culture of mutual respect between prisoners and staff is significant in making Ashfield a positive experience for many prisoners.  The SERCO management and staff work hard to create a stable and safe environment resulting in a low number of  incidents of self harm and the only death in custody was due to natural causes.

The main challenge of the lack of open prison places (Cat D) is outside SERCO’s control but, always looking to improve, the management is planning to establish a progression wing in the new year to provide a regime closer to a cat D prison for some of those who qualify. HMP Ashfield must be congratulated on a very good twelve months.”

Read the report in full here.