HMIP Inspection of HMP Bure

The prison was subjected to an inspection in April 2017. In their report the inspectors said:

“Situated on the former RAF Coltishall base in Norfolk and opened in 2009, HMP Bure is a category C training prison and a national resource for convicted sex offenders. Following the addition of some new accommodation in 2013, the prison now holds just under 650 prisoners.

This is our third report on Bure. At previous inspections we have always reported positive findings and this visit was no exception. Overall, the prison continues to ensure some very good outcomes, although we did make criticisms regarding the prison’s approach to offender risk management and resettlement.

Bure remained an overwhelmingly safe and respectful prison. New arrivals were properly inducted and levels of violence were low. Few prisoners self-harmed but arrangements to support those with complex and ongoing needs were weak. The prison needed to guard against complacency concerning this issue. Work in adult safeguarding similarly required improvement. Security was applied proportionately and segregation and force were used sparingly.

Living conditions were decent and respectful and staff-prisoner relationships were generally good, although they were undermined by some inconsistency in the application of basic rules. The promotion of equality was reasonable and prisoners were positive about their experience of health care.

Virtually all prisoners had good time out of cell and there was sufficient purposeful activity for all.Some work was mundane and vocational training opportunities were limited, but most outcomes in work, learning and skills were positive with most prisoners making progress. Our colleagues in Ofsted assessed the overall effectiveness of provision at Bure to be ‘good’.

The prison was weakest in its approaches to resettlement. As a national resource for sex offenders, the prison had no resettlement function and, consequently, very limited resources to support reintegration and resettlement. That said, too few prisoners were being transferred to their home area prior to discharge and about 100 prisoners had, in fact, been released from the prison in the preceding six months. Bure held many high-risk prisoners and yet offender management was not good enough and far too variable. We saw some good work but too few men had an up-to-date offender assessment system (OASys) assessment, and contact with offender supervisors for many was intermittent and reactive. Public protection arrangements were generally sound but more attention needed to be paid to comprehensive risk management planning prior to release.

Bure was a safe and decent prison, but weaknesses in offender management and resettlement – requirements which should be at the very heart of the prison’s purpose – undermined its success and overall effectiveness. We have made a number of recommendations which we believe will assist further improvement.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM

May 2017

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons”

Return to Bure

The full reports can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below:

  • HMP Bure (573.58 kB), Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Bure (27
  • HMP Bure, Unannounced inspection of HMP Bure (29 April–10 May 2013)
  • HMP Bure, Announced inspection of HMP Bure (13–17 September 2010
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