IMB at HMP Highpoint reports staff shortages, maintenance delays and continuing spice usage undermined the prison’s performance

Staff shortages had a significant impact on the prison’s ability to deliver a consistent daily regime. The maintenance contract failed to provide timely repairs to the detriment of working and living conditions and ongoing ‘spice’ usage was challenging.

In its annual report, the Highpoint IMB notes that:

  • The prison has a strong commitment to the humane treatment of the men in its care.
  • There have been improvements in sentence planning with more promised.
  • The rehabilitative culture established on three of the residential units has had a positive and beneficial impact.


However, staff shortages were a significant concern for most of the year. The Board seeks reassurance from the Minister that funding for increased staffing will continue to be made available and that the retention of experienced staff will also be addressed.


IMB Highpoint Chair, Ray Smith, said:

“The Board is still concerned about the prevalence of ‘spice’ at Highpoint. Risks to health, and unpredictable and challenging behaviour can arise from its use. This is not unique to Highpoint. We’re calling for urgent action to disrupt supplies into all prisons, giving Governors the necessary resources they need to achieve this.  The beginning of 2018 saw Carillion go into liquidation, and Gov Facility Services Ltd took over their responsibilities. We hope our call for a much improved service on repairs and maintenance will be met”.


Read the report in full here.