‘East Sutton Park is a successful and effective open prison and the staff are to be commended for the way they encourage the women to make the most of their time there. Given the length of their stay at ESP, the women are given the best opportunity to prepare for life after release’, says the Independent Monitoring Board in their latest Annual Report.
The Board highlights the achievements of the establishment which has 102 places for women and young offenders nearing the end of often long sentences.
- A recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Prisons gave the prison top marks in all categories in which they are judged. An assessment that is borne out by the day to day work of the Independent Monitoring Board.
- The women are helped by the prison staff and by a peer led team to access accommodation and work prior to leaving prison and are assisted with any financial debts. It is known that lack of accommodation and financial pressures could otherwise lead to re-offending.
- Educational courses in the prison are well attended and help enhance the women’s prospects on release.
- The Personal Officer scheme is very effective and enables the women to see an officer on a one to one basis to advise and assist them.
- The risk of self-harm that is so prevalent across the female estate is largely absent at East Sutton Park but the women need and are given, assistance in overcoming lack of confidence and self esteem.
- It seems inconceivable that this prison with its high rate of success should be under the threat of closure. Figures are difficult to ascertain but we believe that over 90% of the women released from this prison do not re-offend in the first two years of release and this is down to the dedicated staff and officers at the prison.