HMIP Inspection of Wayland

The prison was inspected last in late June 2017.The full reports can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In the last report the inspector said:

HMP Wayland is a category C training establishment located in rural Norfolk near Thetford. Built  over 30 years ago, the prison held just under 1,000 convicted adult male prisoners, the vast majority of whom were serving lengthy sentences. Over two thirds of prisoners were serving in excess of four years, with just over 100 serving life sentences.

We last inspected in Wayland in late 2013, when we found a prison that was stretched as a consequence of budgetary constraints, but was reasonably safe and delivering some good outcomes for those detained. At this inspection the prison was emerging from recent difficulties, but was improving and continuing to sustain broadly reasonable outcomes despite some concerns about safety, which was its key priority.

Overall, safety at Wayland was improving. The number of violent incidents had increased steadily between 2015 and 2016 but there was clear evidence that, encouragingly, it had begun to fall in the months leading up to the inspection. Meaningful work was being done by the prison to confront violence and reduce it, and this seemed to be having an effect. This, however, was yet to be reflected in improved prisoner confidence, as measured by prisoner perceptions of their own safety recorded in our survey.

Like violence, illicit drugs remained problematic. Nearly half of prisoners surveyed thought it was easy to obtain drugs and alcohol. While mandatory drug testing data was not excessive at around 5% positive, these figures did not include the widespread but less easily detected psychoactive substances. As with the prison’s approach to violence reduction, however, useful strategies were in place to cut off supply and there was some evidence of successes. Security, in general, was applied with competence and proportionality, although the supervision and accountability in respect of the increased use of force recorded needed to be better. The use of segregation was reasonably well managed.

Wayland remained a generally respectful prison.  The environment was reasonable, although some cells needed to be cleaner. Access to in-cell telephones and secure laptops that eased access to administrative systems was, in our view, the way forward and an example of good practice. Staff evidenced growing confidence in their dealings with prisoners and the promotion of equality was improving. Consultation with minority groups was very good, although much of this improving work had still to realise measurable improvement in outcomes for, and the perceptions of, minority groups.

The delivery of health services was variable, with improvements required to key services. Prisoners also expressed very negative views about the quality of the food and we had concerns over some poor hygiene standards observed in the kitchen. Similarly, we were not confident that religious or cultural observances in respect of food preparation were given sufficient priority.

There was enough work and education for most prisoners, but time out of cell was disappointing and we counted about a quarter of prisoners locked in cell during the working day. That said, there were meaningful plans to improve learning and vocational opportunities and our colleagues in Ofsted judged the overall effectiveness of provision to be ‘good’ overall.

Similarly, Wayland took its responsibilities as a resettlement prison seriously and was working hard to reduce a backlog in prisoner offender assessment system (OASys) assessments, while prioritising appropriately those that required immediate attention. Most prisoners knew their offender supervisor, although contact varied greatly, and most had a sentence plan. These plans were limited  in their effect, but nearly two thirds of prisoners thought that the prison had assisted them in making them less likely to reoffend. Reintegration and release planning was generally good. Offending behaviour work was also effective, and in particular the personality disorder (PDU) and psychologically informed planned environment (PIPE) units were excellent.

Overall, Wayland was, in our view, making progress and this is an encouraging report. Our assessment has had to balance a number of objective measures, many of which still need to improve further, with more dynamic measures such as the clear energy and determination within the prison to improve matters. The prison was very well led, while plans for improvement were active and substantive, taking the prison forward in a positive direction. Our report provides a number of recommendations which we hope will assist that process.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
September 2017
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Return to Wayland

To read the full reports visit the Ministry of Justice web site, or follow the links below:

  • HMP Wayland (604.05 kB), Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Wayland (19–30 June 2017)
  • HMP Wayland, Unannounced inspection of HMP Wayland (22 July – 2 August 2013)
  • HMP Wayland, Announced inspection of HMP Wayland (6–10 June 2011)
  • HMP Wayland, Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP Wayland (6 – 8 April 2009)
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