HMIP Inspection of Wayland

The prison was inspected last in late 2013.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 prison in Norfolk holding around 1,000 men. Overall, the prison had improved since our last inspection in 2011 but that improvement was undermined by some significant weaknesses in a number of important areas.

The prison was reasonably safe. The number of violent incidents, some serious, was slightly higher than in similar prisons and prisoners were a little more concerned for their safety than elsewhere. Nevertheless, violent incidents were generally well managed. Prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm were well cared for and levels of self-harm were low. Security was proportionate and the recent introduction of ‘free flow’, which allowed prisoners to move unescorted around the prison, was welcome. Use of force was well managed and only used as a last resort. The management of substance misuse had much improved since the last inspection, when it had been a major concern. Our prisoner survey and testing results indicated that illicit drug use was low but testing processes need to improve.

We had two significant concerns about safety. The first of these was that first night and induction processes were poor. We were concerned that the risk assessment of newly arrived prisoners was inadequate, cells for new arrivals were dirty and badly prepared and they received little individual support. Nearly a third of prisoners told us they did not feel safe on their first night. Induction arrangements were perfunctory and prisoners spent much too long locked in their cells during a prolonged but unproductive induction period. Our second concern was that although there had been some improvements to the segregation unit since our last inspection, the same limited regime was offered to all prisoners held there – whether they were there as punishment, for good order and discipline, or their own protection. Not enough was done to reintegrate prisoners from segregation back onto the main units.

The general environment was decent and clean but some of the older units were showing their age. Health care had improved significantly since the last inspection. The chaplaincy provided a good service and very good arrangements had been made for Ramadan which was taking place during the inspection. However, staff-prisoner relationships were the weakest area of the prison. We saw some interactions that were very positive but too many that were dismissive and disinterested. We did not see sufficient engagement by staff with prisoners when they were unlocked, such as during periods of association. Too few prisoners said they had a member of staff they could turn to if they had a problem and we found that many prisoners were using the complaints system to deal with matters that should have been sorted out informally or with an application.

Prisoners from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and Muslim prisoners reported particularly poorly about being treated with respect by staff and being victimised. Prisoners from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were less likely to be on the enhanced level of the incentives and earned privileges scheme than others. Prisoners had little confidence in the discrimination incident complaints process and we identified examples of serious discrimination complaints that had been poorly dealt with. Foreign national prisoners were neglected and we found prisoners with disabilities whose needs had not been considered and met. These failings reflected a lack of resources applied to diversity and equality issues. One manager was responsible for equality, safer custody, segregation and use of force; he had little training or support for his equalities role.

Prisoners had good amounts of time out of their cells and the range and quality of activities was also good. Most activities prepared prisoners well for work – there were good links with local and national employers and many prisoners experienced a reasonably realistic working day. PE provision was adequate although staff shortages meant it was cancelled too often. However, the overall management of learning, skills and work required improvement. Not enough progress had been made on the recommendations we made at the last inspection, the allocation to and use of activity places was ineffective and best use was not being made of the resources available. In the months before the inspection the leadership and support for activities had been strengthened but it was too early to assess the impact of this.

The strategic management of resettlement was better than we often see. The establishment of ‘The Hub’ to integrate offender management and practical resettlement services was a good initiative and, although still in its early days, prepared the ground well for the prison’s future role as a designated resettlement prison. The prison’s offender management services were disrupted because 60% of prisoners were transferred to the prison without an up to date OASys (risk assessment). This made sentence planning very difficult and put pressure on already stretched resources. Offender management work with medium-risk prisoners, some of whom had committed serious offences, was therefore too limited. The prison was making good use of release on temporary licence to help prisoners prepare for release and had plans to extend this further. Work to ensure prisoners had somewhere to live on release was satisfactory and there was a very good focus on ensuring the employment-related skills that prisoners gained in activities were supported by efforts to help them find a job or further training on release. Health and substance misuse resettlement support was effective. Visit arrangements were satisfactory but not enough was done to help prisoners maintain or develop constructive family relationships.

HMP Wayland was very stretched at the time of this inspection. Budget reductions and management changes were having an impact and many staff were still in the process of adapting to new roles. A number of promising new initiatives were in the early stages and the full benefits had yet to be realised. Maintaining and, in some cases, improving, outcomes for prisoners in these circumstances was a real achievement. Action was already being taken to address some of the weaknesses we have identified in this report. However, not enough attention was being paid to weak first night and induction processes, prisoners’ relationships with staff and the poor experience of some prisoners from minority groups. These remain significant concerns and need to be dealt with as priorities. 

Nick Hardwick

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

January 2014″

Return to Wayland


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

  • 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)