With our prisons and the people in them under severe strain, it is easy to lose sight of some of the remarkable work going on in spite of these challenging circumstances.
This year's New Year's Honours include recognition for a number of people for their commitment to helping people in prison, including Clive Martin, Roma Hooper, Sue McAllister and Lynn Saunders. We'd like to extend our congratulations to them all.
HMP Whatton, the prison that Lynn Saunders governs, also received recognition last week from HM Inspectorate of Prisons for its positive work to reduce the risks posed by higher risk prisoners.
Commenting on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Whatton, Peter Dawson, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
“This report on a prison doing a good job has important lessons for ministers, just as much as reports on prisons that are failing. It shows the importance of stability—leaders staying put, and the prison’s role remaining the same for a prolonged period. It demonstrates the major part prisoners can play in creating a decent and constructive environment when they are given the chance.
“But it also shows the problems that the Governor needs help to solve—accommodation needing refurbishment, and resources to run enough programmes for prisoners on the discredited IPP sentence to move more quickly towards safe release.
“As they put meat on the bones of their strategy for prisons, ministers need to be clear about their responsibility for providing the right conditions for governors and their staff to deliver the excellent service which this report shows is possible.”
Photo: dconvertini under creative commons