The Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Dovegate issues its Annual Report today, the fifteenth since the prison opened in 2001. It covers the twelve-month period to the end of September, 2015.
IMBs are made up of people from all backgrounds and walks of life whose role is to monitor the treatment of those held in custody and to report any areas of concern to the relevant authority. The IMB makes weekly visits to the prison.
HMP Dovegate is a Category B prison, with a remand facility and a Therapeutic Community. The Operational Capacity of the prison, raised in February 2014, was due to be reduced in August of that year, but instead remained at the increased level. HMP Dovegate has in the past held a number of Category C prisoners, but these have continued to decrease over the reporting year, leaving a large population of predominantly Category B prisoners, some of whose behaviour can be particularly challenging. However, the Board reports on a reinvigorated and robust Violence Reduction Strategy, which is beginning to make a significant difference to the safety of prisoners and staff alike.
The Board pays close attention to the provision of healthcare in the prison and is pleased to report that the transfer from Serco Health to Care UK was well managed. The new provider appears determined to improve the delivery of healthcare in the prison, and improvements are noted by the Board.
Commenting on the report, Chair Mr John Dawson said, “As independent observers, regularly visiting the prison, we recognise the challenges faced by the management and staff of HMP Dovegate. We will continue to draw attention to matters which concern us, at the same time recognising the good work we observe.”