HMIP Inspections of Send

The prison was given an inspection in June 2018, the full report can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In their latest report the inspectors said:

“HMP Send, in Surrey, is a closed training prison for women which has a highly complex population of up to 282 often high-risk offenders. Three-quarters of those held were serving over four years and 67 at the time we inspected were serving indeterminate sentences, including life. A substantial number, although not all, of those held lived on one of three therapeutic or specialist facilities which sought to address the needs of women as part of a structured personality disorder pathway.

When we last inspected Send in 2014 we found outcomes that were good in all four of our healthy prison tests, the highest assessment HM Inspectorate of Prisons can give. At this inspection, we again found outcomes that were excellent in three of our tests, although we report with some disappointment that there had been significant deterioration in the provision of learning and skills.

HMP Send was a very safe prison. Women were well cared for on arrival and there was very little violence. In our survey, women raised some concerns about issues of bullying and victimisation but we found the prison’s response to such behaviour had improved, with a good multidisciplinary approach in place to create and sustain a safe environment for those held. Recorded self-harm had almost doubled but it remained much lower than comparable prisons; for those in crisis the assessment, care in custody and teamwork (ACCT) case management and care we observed were good. Security was applied proportionately and illicit drugs were not a significant problem. Interventions to support those with a drug dependency were impressive and a model of good practice. Force was rarely used, although it could have been managed better, and the prison, commendably, was able to operate with out the need for a segregation unit.

Living conditions in the prison were clean and decent and most women reported very positively about many aspects of daily living. Relationships between staff and women were excellent and were at the heart of the prison’s success. Work to promote equality had improved and was generally very good, although more could have been done to support some groups, notably younger women and foreign nationals. The chaplaincy provided excellent additional support and evidenced much good practice. Requests and complaints were managed very well and the quality of health care overall was reasonably good.

Our principal concern at this inspection was outcomes in the area of purposeful activity. Most women had more than 10 hours out of their cells and we found very few locked up during the working day. That said, the management of learning and skills was not robust and quality improvement lacked challenge. The range of education on offer was good but opportunities in work and vocational training were more limited. Allocations to activity needed improvement and employer engagement was insufficient. Attendance and retention in education and vocational training were mixed and in some vocation and work settings women were insufficiently productive.  Achievement rates were reasonable, although progress was not always monitored well enough.

The management of resettlement, in contrast, was strong and offender management was at the heart of a prisoner’s experience. The quality of case management we observed was good and most women knew they had a custody plan. Public protection arrangements were reasonably robust, although they could have been better in the otherwise excellent visiting arrangements. Support for women about to be released was comprehensive and integrated well with other aspects of offender management. The specialist and therapeutic units were very well managed and ensured useful outcomes and progress for those who needed to be held in them.

HMP Send was, to conclude, an excellent prison run by a very effective governor and caring staff. The women at the prison were treated with decency and care, being kept safe and treated with respect. The prison provided services for some very difficult and potentially dangerous women, yet did so with confidence and competence. There was work to do to improve education, vocational training and work, so we have left the prison with a few recommendations which we hope will assist in this process.


Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
September 2018
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Return to Send

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

  • HMP Send (625.88 kB), Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Send (18–29 June 2018)
  • HMP Send, Unannounced inspection of HMP Send (3 – 14 February 2014)
  • HMP Send, Announced inspection of HMP Send (6-10 December 2010)
  • HMP Send, Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP Send (18-22 August 2008