HMP Long Lartin, Inspections

The prison was inspected in February 2021 and the full report can be read by following the links below. In their latest report the inspectors said:

“Located near Evesham in Worcestershire, HMP Long Lartin is part of the long term and high security prison estate. It holds some of the country’s most dangerous and serious offenders, with two-thirds of the population serving life sentences and almost all of the rest serving more than 10 years. At the time of our visit, over 20% of those held were category A, the highest security classification, indicative of the risk being managed.

In the previous two months, an outbreak of COVID-19 had affected a large number of staff and prisoners, three of whom had died after testing positive for the virus. Leaders had also been faced with staff shortages, which had affected the provision they could offer prisoners.

The governor and his team had focused on the management of the pandemic, and the partnership working between the establishment, the main health provider and Public Health England was effective. Managers had established ‘cohorting’ arrangements (see Glossary of terms) for new arrivals, symptomatic prisoners and those who were particularly vulnerable to the virus. They had provided good communication about the restrictions to both staff and prisoners, with regular updates. Most prisoners said that the measures to prevent the spread of the disease were necessary, but the recent outbreak had affected their perceptions of their own safety, which were poor despite falls in recorded violence and self-harm.

This report outlines weaknesses in other areas of prison life. The segregation unit subjected prisoners to a very austere regime for long periods without any reintegration planning. Planned use of force was very high, largely because of excessive use of handcuffs in the segregation unit, much of which went unrecorded. The prison’s investigations into prisoner complaints were poor and sometimes carried out by the member of staff about whom the prisoner had complained. The system for investigating complaints into discrimination was in disarray and nearly half of allegations made in the previous three months had not received a response. Health care waiting lists were undermanaged, resulting in some waits of over a year to see the GP. There had been long delays in telephone monitoring of prisoner calls for public protection reasons.

Our concerns about these practices was compounded by the failure of leaders to establish effective oversight to identify or address any of them. We had little confidence that sustained progress was possible without a major improvement to governance and management across many areas of prison life.

Charlie Taylor
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
February 2021

 

Return to Long Lartin

To read the full inspectors reports follow the links below: