Wandsworth Prison: Inspections:Written question - 8689

Asked by Paul Flynn
(Newport West)
Asked on: 04 September 2015
Ministry of Justice
Wandsworth Prison: Inspections
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what implications the report of the unannounced visits by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons to HMP Wandsworth will have for his policies on (a) making prisons safer, (b) protecting minority groups in prisons, (c) addressing staff shortages in prisons and (d) providing educational and vocational opportunities in prison.
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 15 September 2015

HMP Wandsworth is implementing its action plan addressing the recommendations in the Inspectorate report. A new governor is in place who is focusing on delivering a safe, decent and secure regime. Additional resources have been identified within the establishment to support the safety and violence issues within the report and the prison is working hard to improve the issues identified in the report.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is committed to running safe prisons. Violence in prison is wholly unacceptable. NOMS has launched a new Violence Reduction Project, which has been created to gain better understanding of the causes of the current levels of violence in prisons and to make sure that there is strengthened handling of it, in terms of both prevention and response.

A number of processes are in place to ensure that all black and minority ethnic prisoners are treated fairly with regards to the delivery of services in prisons, including monitoring and equality impact assessments, both of national policies and local implementation.

NOMS has undertaken a large scale recruitment to tackle shortfalls caused by the unexpected rise in the prison population and a higher turnover of staff. NOMS has recruited over 2,230 new Band 3 Officers in the 12 months to 30 June 2015 and is planning to recruit at a similar rate in 2015-16 to address outstanding vacancies and turnover of staff.

Work is already in progress to improve the quality of learning and skills in prisons. Increasing numbers of prisoners are engaged in learning but Ofsted Inspections confirm that one in five prisons has an inadequate standard of education provision and another two fifths require improvement. Additionally, the Secretary of State has asked Dame Sally Coates to chair a review of the quality of education in prisons. The review will report in March 2016. Details can be found at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/education-in-prison

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