The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at HMP Berwyn releases its first annual report

Giving an independent overview of the work of the prison and the opportunities available to prisoners, the Board comments in its report on a wide range of issues and particularly highlights:

• The initial achievement of the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service in establishing a new, purpose built and progressive establishment in North Wales;
• The challenges in introducing prisoners to the benefits of self-reliance and application, as they work towards rehabilitation and a future outside the prison gates;
• The enormous amount of work undertaken in establishing and developing support services and interventions, across the prison pathways and Welsh Government identified priority needs groups, which involves internal and external partner relationships, plus third sector organisations; and
• The excellent work undertaken by Equality and Diversity, who have added a further two, to the nine protected statutory characteristics i.e. Gypsy Roma Travellers and Foreign Nationals.

However, despite all the good and successful work being undertaken on a daily basis, there are the ongoing challenges of finding and maintaining the right balance between rehabilitation and security, rewards and sanctions, freedoms and control and the Board would assess these areas as ‘work in progress.’

The Board expresses serious concerns at the level of illicit drugs present in the establishment and would ask for all possible measures to be put in place to reduce this unacceptable situation.

The lack of the promised work places and completion of the workshops has been an on-going concern of the Board and is still to be fully resolved.

Board Chair, Eileen Darbyshire recommends a full reading of the Report which gives a balanced view of life within the establishment, which is monitored on a daily basis by members of the Independent Monitoring Board.

The full report is available to download in: