Rye Hill – now a more settled prison, say IMB

In its annual report on HM Prison Rye Hill, the IMB draws attention to the progress the prison has made over the reporting period April 2015 – March 2016. 

This has been a year of consolidation following the re-role of the prison to a sex offender only establishment. There has been a stable Senior Management Team in place throughout the year which has benefited the overall running of the prison.

An HMIP inspection of the prison in August 2015 found the prison to be safe and with some real strengths but Healthcare was not meeting the needs of the prisoners with 4 key areas highlighted for improvement.

Overall the prison has remained settled during this reporting year although the number of assaults, though on the decrease, remain concerning. It is noted a disproportionate number of these assaults involve a small number of prisoners who precipitate events.

At the end of the current year 585 prisoners out of a total of 624 were in purposeful activity/work. This includes attending the Activities Centre designed to cater for the disabled and elderly although further work is needed to ensure these activities are more purposeful.

The IMB continues to be concerned about the inadequate level of health provision that does not meet the needs of the current population. Some improvements are now in place including a new Clinical Manager however, we remain concerned at what appears to be excessively long periods of time to make changes such as moving distribution of medicines from the upper levels to the ground floor of the units to enable easier access for the disabled.

Ms Sheila Davie, Chairman of the IMB at HM Prison Rye Hill, said: “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”.