HMIP Inspection of Kirklevington Grange

The prison was given an inspection in August 2019 and the report can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In their latest report the inspectors said:

Kirklevington Grange is an open prison near Stockton-on -Tees. A former closed detention centre for young people, the prison now holds up to 283 adult men and young adults, a significant number of whom are serving lengthy sentences, including life. We last inspected in 2015, when we found a prison that was delivering good outcomes against all four of our healthy prison tests. We are pleased to report that at this inspection we found the same good outcomes for those detained.

The prison was an overwhelmingly safe and respectful facility. Reception processes for new arrivals were good, with robust procedures in place to promote well- being. Prisoners told us they felt safe and violence was rare, and we found procedures in place to ensure this remained the case. Prisoners acted positively and were motivated to progress. Force was rarely required and the prison had dispensed with its segregation unit. Security was generally proportionate, although some elements of physical security were unnecessary for a category D prison. Temporary release failures were commendably low and the random positive drug test rate was similarly low. Acts of self -harm were rare, although one prisoner had tragically died by misadventure since we last inspected. Recommendations following an investigation into that incident had been addressed and there was generally good care for those at risk.

The positive relationships between staff and prisoners were a strength of the prison and contributed greatly to the settled atmosphere we observed. The environment was well maintained and despite some issues with older accommodation, it was mostly in good condition. Consultation arrangements were useful, with staff responsive to applications or complaints. The food was very popular. Meaningful work was being under taken to promote diversity and equality, and outcomes for those from protected groups were generally reasonable. Prisoners were positive about the quality of health care they received, and our findings supported this view.

As an open prison, prisoners were never locked up and enjoyed good access around the prison. All were fully employed and many benefitted from access to temporary release to undertake one of the many good quality work or t raining placements available in the community. More needed to be done, however, to ensure men could progress quickly into paid employment in the community, and to systematically record the progress individuals made. Well over half of those released at the end of their sentence went into employment, education or t raining, but more needed to be done in education and vocational training to ensure achievements and qualifications could be properly recorded.

In our survey over 80% of prisoners said that their experiences in the prison had made them less likely to offend. Strategy and action planning had improved and supported the prison’s rehabilitative and resettlement agenda. Sentence planning was prompt and contact with offender supervisors was regular, although recording could have been better. Almost all prisoners had an up-to-date risk of harm (OASys) assessment and most had access to temporary release to support their rehabilitation. Both public protection and resettlement work were robust and effective.

Kirklevington Grange was a safe, decent and purposeful place where prisoners’ needs were being met. The prison was well led, staff knew their prisoners well and the regime on offer was purposeful. Prisoners appeared to be responding positively to the opportunities they were being given. We left the prison with a small number of recommendations which we hope will assist with further improvements.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM                 October 2019

HM Chief Inspector of Prison

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To read the full reports, go to the Ministry of Justice site or follow the links below:

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