HMP Ford ‘safe and well run’ but accommodation can fall below acceptable standards of decency – IMB Annual Report

At a time when Independent Monitoring Boards at several prisons have described dangerous conditions inside, monitors at HMP Ford say this open prison is generally safe and well run. Prisoners are treated fairly and there has been an increase in efforts in 2017 to provide them with resettlement opportunities.

The report, covering the year to 31st October 2017, repeats its previous criticism of the prisoner accommodation which it says is in poor condition and falls below acceptable standards of decency at times.  Weaknesses in the Prison Service’s privatised maintenance contract with Carillion have caused long delays in getting repairs done and the Prison Service has failed to provide funds in 2017 for much needed CCTV cameras to help control drug infiltration.

The Board was disappointed that despite reassurances to the IMB from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice in March last year that a much-needed refurbishment of B Wing would recommence, the work undertaken has been patchy and mostly amounting to little more than a lick of paint and the replacement of some kitchen equipment.

IMB Ford Chair, Geoffrey Archer, said:

“Many of the problems at Ford Prison are the result of national issues, rather than local failures. Outsourcing prison maintenance work to Carillion resulted in longer waits to get things fixed. Repeated attempts at prison reorganization caused delays in funding for important infrastructure improvements. And the contracting out of much of the probation service has not improved the support of prisoners when they’re released. Our monitoring showed that more than 10% of prisoners leave Ford with no fixed address to stay at.”

Read the report in full here.