In general the Board at Rye Hill considers prisoners were treated fairly during the reporting period April 2016- March 2017. The need for a rolling series of lock downs on accommodation units to release staff for bed watches for seriously ill prisoners was a concern but was actually handled very fairly. Lock downs were spread evenly across the prison and communicating restriction of regimes schedule to prisoners as early as possible was appreciated.
Discrimination Reports have reduced this year but the provision of disability and assisted living aids can take an unacceptably long period, in some cases more than 6 months.
The Board considers all prisoners were treated humanely with some areas of strength however the situation with healthcare remains a key concern. Staff and senior management have made determined efforts to ensure that the prison is a safe place for both staff and prisoners especially during times of staff shortages. The management of prisoners with complex needs and violence reduction have been given priority.
Between 89.7% and 91% of the prisoner population are either employed or purposefully occupied during the reporting year. This is indicative of the firm commitment that we have observed both in this and previous reporting years to maximizing purposeful activity.
Healthcare Services remains a major cause for concern and unless the prisoner health profile changes the current service will need both further investment and improvement to ensure it can give prisoners the same level of care they would receive in the community especially those with serious long term conditions and terminal diagnoses.
Ms Sheila Davie, Chair of the IMB at HM Prison Rye Hill, said: “Treatment of prisoners at Rye Hill is in the main fair and just although delivery of adequate Health Care remains a concern. We are pleased that the prison has remained more settled during this year, however, the IMB will continue to monitor progress towards a safe and humane environment for all prisoners with a particular focus on equality and inclusion and the provision of healthcare”.
Read the report in full: https://www.imb.org.uk/reports/2017-annual-reports/