The prison inspectors have announced that they will now be carrying out short inspections of prison where previous full inspections had shown the prison to be performing badly, Prisons subject to the Chief Inspector’s Urgent Notification (UN) protocol will be a priority.
These brief inspections, about 20 a year, are in addition to the usual program of full inspections which will continue as before. The short inspection, known as Independent Reviews of Progress (IRPs), will start immediately. These reports are scheduled to be published a mere 25 days after the end of the visit.
The purpose of the inspections is to provide real evidence of progress, or lack of progress, by the prisons which were judged to be performing badly to the MoJ. The inspector said at their launch:
“IRPs are an important new area of work for us. They are designed to give the Secretary of State an independent assessment of whether prisons we have found to be unsafe or otherwise failing are getting to grips with our key recommendations for improvement. There are many governing teams and staff working hard in very challenging jails and through our IRPs we will work constructively with them to support the improvements we all want to see.”