Set against a national picture of the prison estate showing increased violence, assaults and drugs, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) is pleased to report that HMP Littlehey bucks this trend and is a safe and for the most part decent establishment as announced in their Annual Report released today.
The changes imposed by HQ have caused some concern to the Board. The privatisation of facilities management of the prison has created much disruption during the reporting year and has led to basic standards of decency not being met at times including shortages of hot water, heating, clean bedding and clean clothes. Although the Board notes the efforts made to improve the situation.
The changes to Probation Services as part of the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation Programme has affected prisoners who are released from Littlehey and there are examples where prisoners are released with no support or accommodation in place.
HMP Littlehey looks after one hundred prisoners who are aged over 70 years old. This puts ever increasing demands on the limited resources from contractors providing services especially healthcare, (delivered by Northampton Health NHS Foundation Trust), and social care (delivered by Cambridgeshire County Council). Escorting increasing numbers of prisoners to hospital for appointments and subsequent stays in hospital and hospice ties up already scarce prison staff resources. This in turn leads to the day to day running of the prison being impacted.
The IMB observe that the Governor and the whole staff team have managed to maintain a safe prison where relationships between staff and prisoners are generally good.