HMYOI Werrington, Inspections

The prison was given an inspection by HMIP in spring 2017. The full report can be found if you follow the links below. In their latest reports the inspectors said

“Werrington is a small young offender institution (YOI) near Stoke-on-Trent that holds just under 130 boys aged 15 to 18. We last inspected Werrington in October 2015; in keeping with our approach to all facilities holding those under 18, we visit this establishment each inspection year. At our previous visit we reported our concerns about the safety of Werrington, although in all other respects outcomes were reasonably good or better. We also indicated our confidence that the management team would improve outcomes in safety. At this inspection our findings suggested that our optimism was justified, with the institution now being a safer place.

Although boys often arrived late, reception arrangements remained reasonably good and most boys felt safe on arrival. The institution had, however, identified the need to improve early risk assessment and risk management plans. Safeguarding and child protection rrangements remained sound, based on strong links with the local authority.

Our survey of young people indicated an improvement in their perceptions of safety. It was clear that managers and staff were working hard to reduce violence, which was evidencing some success. In this report, we describe the approach to violence reduction as coordinated and thoughtful, supported by the good use of intelligence and data as well as new approaches to conflict resolution. Along with the reduction in violence, force and segregation were being used less. It was encouraging that behaviour management initiatives were focused on motivating individual boys to behave well, rather than being based solely on sanctions as we so often see.

Overall, the quality of accommodation was adequate, although access to showers and telephones was limited and the cause of some friction. Relationships between staff and boys were improving and most engagement was good, although we did see some poor behaviour go unchallenged, and it was a  concern that in our survey not enough boys thought they were treated with respect. The promotion of equality and diversity, in contrast, needed to be energised and is something we address in our main recommendations.

Time out of cell for boys was reasonable and most had good access to a well-planned curriculum in learning and skills. Our colleagues in Ofsted assessed provision at Werrington as good overall. Resettlement services remained similarly sound, with most boys getting a training plan, and boys were positive about the help they received from case workers. Release planning was generally satisfactory, although it was undermined by delays in securing accommodation prior to release dates.

Werrington, like other young offender institutions, faces some tough challenges and works with boys who can be very difficult. The institution, however, continues to do well. It was well led, with coherent, innovative plans and initiatives helping to create a much more positive ethos in the institution than we see elsewhere. The priorities for Werrington include further reductions in violence and work to sustain the resilience of the staff group so that they can build upon the progress they have made.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM



HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

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To read the full report go to the Ministry of Justice web site or follow the links below