The prison was given an inspection in the December 2015/January 2016. There were two inspections, one of the main prison and one of the juvenile establishment. The full reports can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In their latest report the inspectors said:
“Parc is one of the largest prisons in the country, and since the last inspection has been expanded still further to the point that it currently holds in excess of 1,600 convicted and remanded adults and young people. It is situated near Bridgend, South Wales, and is operated under contract by G4S Care and Justice Ltd.
This report is, I hope, self explanatory, and I shall not repeat the findings in this introduction. There are however a few issues that are worthy of particular comment.
The prison has responded to high levels of violence and self-harm, but more needed to be done to address not only actual levels of violence, but the sense among prisoners that they were in an unsafe prison. Our survey found that 43% of prisoners had felt unsafe at some point during their stay in Parc, and 20% of prisoners felt unsafe at the time ofour survey. The use of force was also high, but it must be said that it was proportionate and its governance excellent.
An issue of concern, in terms of the safety of some prisoners, was the use of CCTV to monitor those who had been placed on constant watch. This is not adequate. Quite apart from the lack of audible feed to the observers, there is the obvious risk of blind spots and other distractions diverting attention away from the vulnerable prisoners.
In terms of the overall safety and stability of the prison, it is clear that the seemingly ready availability of new psychoactive substances (NPS) such as Spice (a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of cannabis), is having a severely negative influence. Over 50% of prison ers told our survey that it was easy or very easy to get drugs in the prison. This is significantly higher than at comparator prisons and an increase from 32% who said this during the last inspection at Parc. The prison has made efforts to deal with this problem, but clearly the problem remains and does not appear to be receding. We were told that in the past, partnership working with South Wales police had not been as effective as it should have been, but that this was now improving.
Despite the issues around safety and violence that afflict Parc, outcomes for prisoners in terms of both purposeful activity and resettlement were found to be good. Inspectors found the prison had placed offender management ‘at the heart of its work to reduce reoffending’ and there were examples of good practice such as the family interventions unit.
Parc is a large and complex prison. It has benefited from strong and consistent leadership. Innovation is clearly encouraged, and despite the issues of NPS availability and the obviously linked violence, there is much which the management of Parc can feel justly proud of.
Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
On the Juvenile unit they said
“Parc juvenile unit is a distinct and generally well separated part of a much larger prison near Bridgend in South Wales. The young person’s unit was opened in 2002 as a 28-room facility, and over the years has expanded to the point where its capacity is now 64 young people, although only 38 were in residence at the time of this inspection. Its catchment area encompasses south and mid-Wales, and much of south-west England. The establishment is run under contract by G4S Central Government Services.
At the time of the last full inspection in May 2014 our judgement was that young people were well cared for and that overall they experienced positive outcomes. The inspection report said that ‘Parc is a safe institution’. In particular, safeguarding and child protection arrangements were robust, and young people said that they felt safe on arrival and during their stay.
During this inspection our judgement had moderated, so that outcomes in the vitally important areas of ‘safety’ and ‘respect’ had declined from ‘good’ to ‘reasonably good’. The reasons for this change were clear. While reception, safeguarding and child protection arrangements remained effective, there were concerns in other areas. The fact that 42% of the children reported being victimised by staff is of concern, particularly as this had more than doubled from 20% at the time of the last inspection. There is obviously a need to understand these survey findings, particularly as only 55% of boys felt they were treated with respect by staff. Other relevant survey findings were that while a majority of children said it was easy to make a complaint, most also said that once made, those complaints were not dealt with fairly or in a timely fashion.
The survey results cannot be dismissed as being merely subjective views from the detained children. In terms of objective evidence, the use of force, as recorded by the establishment had tripled since the previous inspection. Force had been used on more than 200 occasions in the six months prior to the inspection, mostly in response to violent incidents. Almost a quarter of the boys reported having been assaulted by other boys at Parc.
Some of this level of violence was ascribed by staff to the destabilising effect of two particularly difficult children who were transferred into Parc during the autumn of 2015. If that was indeed the case, then management need to be sure that they have understood how this was able to happen and ensure that the necessary plans are in place to stop it happening again.
In light of the recent allegations that have been made about the treatment of children elsewhere in the young people’s secure estate, it is imperative that our recommendations about refresher training in child protection, and knowledge about the whistle-blowing policy, are acted upon as a matter of urgency. Similarly, the reasons why children have reported an increase in victimisation by staff must be investigated and understood. In summary, while overall we were still able confidently to judge that outcomes under the ‘safety’ element of the healthy prison test were ‘reasonably good’, there is a real need for the leadership team at Parc to understand what sits behind the negative aspects of these findings.
There was much to commend at Parc, and there was no doubt that the leadership team of the YOI were committed to providing a safe and decent environment for the children in their care. This report points out many instances where good work by staff and partners had beneficial impacts on the children’s experiences. This was most apparent in purposeful activity where, in particular, boys at Parc continued to access significantly more time out of cell than their counterparts in other YOIs. This included regular association and exercise periods. It was also positive that segregation was rarely used despite the challenging behaviour exhibited during the autumn of 2015.
On occasions, children’s outcomes were poor where the solution lay outside the control of the staff, a stark example being where we became aware of a child who had been released to an unsuitable bed and breakfast hostel, despite the best efforts of Parc staff to find suitable accommodation. The inability to secure a suitable address in good time before release prevented any education, training or employment arrangements being made for him on release.
Despite all the positive things that were happening at Parc, there can be no room for complacency, as the judgements in the areas of ‘safety’ and ‘respect’ had declined since the last inspection. I am sure the leadership at Parc will give this their full attention, and strive to return the establishment to its previous high performance in these key areas.
Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons”
To read the full reports, go to the Ministry of Justice site or follow the links below:
- HMYOI Parc Juvenile unit (PDF, 1.09 MB), Report on an announced inspection of HMYOI Parc Juvenile unit (11 – 22 January 2016)
- HMP/YOI ParcReport on an unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (30 November – 1 December; 18 – 22 January 2016)
- HMYOI Parc Juvenile Unit, Unannounced inspection report of HMYOI Parc Juvenile Unit (28 April – 9 May 2014)
- HMP/YOI Parc, Unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (9-19 July 2013)
- CEM / STI Parc, Arolygiad dirybudd Carchar EM / Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc (9-19 Gorffennaf 2013)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews: Children and young people’s self-reported perceptions, 9 July 2013
- Uned Pobl Ifanc yn STI a CEM Parc, Arolygiad lle y rhoddwyd rhybudd o’r Uned Pobl Ifanc yn Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a Charchar EM Parc (21 Rhagfyr 2012)
- HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Announced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (2-6 July 2012)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews: Children and young people’s self-reported perceptions (30–31 May 2012)
- STI/CEM Parc, Arolygiad llawn a dirybudd o Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a CEM Parc (15 – 24 Medi 2010)
- HMP/YOI Parc, Full unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (15 – 24 September 2010)
- Uned Pobl Ifanc yn STI/CEM Parc, Arolygiad byr a dirybudd o’r Uned Pobl Ifanc yn Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a Charchar EM Parc (14 – 17 Medi 2010)
- HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (14 – 17 September 2010)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (19 July 2011)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (6-7 July 2010)
- HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Announced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (15-19 June 2009) (English and Cymraeg)
- CEM a Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc, Arolygiad dilynol llawn dirybudd o CEM a Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc (7-11 Gorffennaf 2008)
- HMP/YOI Parc, Unannounced full follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (7-11 July 2008)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (18 May 2009)
- HMP/YOI Parc (juveniles), Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (juveniles) (1-5 October 2007)
- HMYOI Parc, Summary of Questionnaires and Interviews (28 August 2007)
- CEM/STI y Parc (ieuenctid), Arolygiad dilynol byr heb ei gyhoeddi ymlaen llaw ar CEM/STI y Parc (ieuenctid) (1-5 Hydref 2007)
- HMYOI Parc ‘ Summary of Questionnaires and Interviews (1 July 2008)