Much to be proud of at HMP Parc say inspectors

  • 08 Jun 2016 08:21
Government inspectors have today reported that there is “much to be proud of” at one of Britain’s largest prisons, G4S-managed HMP/YOI Parc in south Wales, where they say innovation is “clearly encouraged” by the centre’s leadership
Inspiring young prisoners recognised for humanitarian work

The independent reports published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) into the 1,740-capacity adult male prison, young offender institute and the juvenile unit on the site recognise nine areas of good practice including work to identify violent prisoners and information sharing with outside agencies on offender risk.  The inspectorate said Parc’s family interventions unit is “radical and innovative” and probably the best seen in any prison. 

Since the previous inspection, the category B adult male prison has expanded by 387 places and inspectors found that although results for purposeful activity and resettlement remained good, violence and the availability of drugs, particularly lethal highs, had increased. While use of force had also gone up, inspectors found force was used proportionately with “excellent” governance arrangements.    

HMP/YOI Parc is at the forefront in the rollout of introducing the smoking ban in prisons and inspectors reported that the prison had been preparing well.

Inspectors also reported that there was “much to commend” at the 64-capacity juvenile unit for young people aged 15-17 with significantly more time out of cell than at other centres around the country and “many instances” of good work by staff and partners.  While inspectors reported that 89 per cent of young people said they felt safe and safeguarding and child protection arrangements remained effective, concerns were raised about the number of young people who said they felt victimised.

Responding to today’s report, Director for HMP and YOI Parc, Janet Wallsgrove, said:

“It has been a period of significant change for Parc and at the same time as managing the impact of new psychoactive substances and the increase in violent behaviour seen in many prisons around the country, the prison has successfully expanded by a third and prepared for the smoking ban.  The team has risen to these challenges by continuing to innovate and I am very encouraged that inspectors have identified numerous areas of best practice, including proactive measures to reduce violence.

“As this report’s survey acknowledges, 39 per cent of prisoners come to HMP Parc with a drug problem against 23 per cent at comparator prisons. Our approach to reducing the availability of drugs and linked violent behaviour is to support prisoners to engage positively with the regime by challenging their behaviour and putting in place boundaries while at the same time strengthening our links with South Wales Police to reduce contraband, which has resulted in several successful prosecutions in recent months. 

“While inspectors found that there was ‘much to commend’ at Parc’s juvenile unit, it was a challenging end to 2015 and we saw an increase in violence linked to gang rivalry.  The centre is now more settled and we have stepped up our survey activity and enhanced the representation of young people at our safeguarding meetings to better understand their perceptions and interactions with our staff group.   

“Our team has a proud record of innovation and thinking radically to support our prisoners to become better citizens than when they came in.  We will look closely at these recommendations and continue to work in partnership with agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors to play our part in helping prisoners to reform and ultimately, to cut the number of future victims of crime.” 

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For further information, please contact Michael Baker on +44 (0)20 7963 3171 or michael.baker@g4s.com

The reports can be found on the HMIP website

Since the last inspection:

28 January 2015: HMP Parc expanded by 387 places

May 2015: Seventh annual Hay-in-the-Parc writing festival sees publication of Inside and Out – a book by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender prisoners and staff

6 July 2015: HMP & YOI Parc welcomes HRH the Prince of Wales to meet young offenders involved with the YOI Parc-Prince’s Trust Fitness Academy partnership

30 July 2015: The Ministry of Justice’s Prison Rating System (PRS) scores are released reporting that Parc is operating at the highest level possible

30 October 2015: Parc’s Head of Family Interventions, Corin Morgan-Armstrong, presents to an international conference on prisons in Australia, HMP Parc’s work on reducing reoffending through strengthening prisoners’ family ties

12 February 2016: The Head of the British Army, Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, visits the UK’s first prison wing specifically for ex-service personnel at HMP Parc

4 March 2016: President of Malta, Her Excellency Louise Coleiro-Preca visits HMP Parc’s family interventions unit to see work to rehabilitate prisoners 

21 March 2016: Five HMP Parc prison officers receive prestigious Butler Trust awards from HRH the Princess Royal to recognise outstanding dedication, skill and creativity by people working in prisons 

April 2016: Channel 4 News spends time at HMP Parc to look at the prison’s family interventions unit and work to reform prisoners and prevent their children following their footsteps into crime 

May 2016: Eighth annual Hay-in-the-Parc writing festival takes place with Gypsy, Roma, Traveller prisoners launching their book On Road, which has been described as the “finest collection” of Traveller lives ever told by Travellers

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