A prison well prepared for the pandemic
Although we also cover the ten months before lockdown, the most notable feature of 2019-2020 has been the foresight and organisation which has kept prisoners almost entirely free from Covid-19.
In its annual report, the Stocken IMB notes that:
- Prisoners are treated fairly in the great majority of situations;
- Although no prison is free of violence, Stocken has done a good job in minimising it; and
- The establishment has largely succeeded in sharply reducing access to illicit substances.
However, the Prison Service needs to provide more capacity in the South East, so that prisoners can more easily stay in touch with their families. Moreover, an expansion of capacity at Open Prisons would greatly assist the whole sector in its efforts to rehabilitate the men in its charge.
IMB Stocken Chair, Ruth Bray, said:
“Stocken has risen to the challenges of the last 18 months. Before the lockdown, much good work was done in education and training to equip prisoners with the skills and knowledge needed to stay away from crime when they are released. Staff generally establish mutually respectful and constructive relationships with their charges, and the quality of leadership is impressive. Even today, 8 months into lockdown, virtually no prisoner has caught Covid-19.”