HMIP Reports, HMP & YOI Parc

The adult prison was given an inspection in the December 2015/January 2016. There were two inspections, one of the main prison and one of the juvenile establishment, and this part of the prison was inspected in 2016. The full reports can be read at the Ministry of Justice web site, just follow the links below. In their latest report the inspectors said:

HMP/YOI Parc (Main Prison)

“Parc is one of the largest prisons in the country, and since the last inspection has been expanded still further to the point that it currently holds in excess of 1,600 convicted and remanded adults and young people. It is situated near Bridgend, South Wales, and is operated under contract by G4S Care and Justice Ltd.

This report is, I hope, self explanatory, and I shall not repeat the findings in this introduction. There are however a few issues that are worthy of particular comment.

The prison has responded to high levels of violence and self-harm, but more needed to be done to address not only actual levels of violence, but the sense among prisoners that they were in an unsafe prison. Our survey found that 43% of prisoners had felt unsafe at some point during their stay in Parc, and 20% of prisoners felt unsafe at the time ofour survey. The use of force was also high, but it must be said that it was proportionate and its governance excellent.

An issue of concern, in terms of the safety of some prisoners, was the use of CCTV to monitor those who had been placed on constant watch. This is not adequate. Quite apart from the lack of audible feed to the observers, there is the obvious risk of blind spots and other distractions diverting attention away from the vulnerable prisoners.

In terms of the overall safety and stability of the prison, it is clear that the seemingly ready availability of new psychoactive substances (NPS) such as Spice (a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of cannabis), is having a severely negative influence. Over 50% of prison ers told our survey that it was easy or very easy to get drugs in the prison. This is significantly higher than at comparator prisons and an increase from 32% who said this during the last inspection at Parc. The prison has made efforts to deal with this problem, but clearly the problem remains and does not appear to be receding. We were told that in the past, partnership working with South Wales police had not been as effective as it should have been, but that this was now improving.

Despite the issues around safety and violence that afflict Parc, outcomes for prisoners in terms of both purposeful activity and resettlement were found to be good. Inspectors found the prison had placed offender management ‘at the heart of its work to reduce reoffending’ and there were examples of good practice such as the family interventions unit.

Parc is a large and complex prison. It has benefited from strong and consistent leadership. Innovation is clearly encouraged, and despite the issues of NPS availability and the obviously linked violence, there is much which the management of Parc can feel justly proud of.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM

March 2016

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

On the Juvenile unit they said in their October 2018 report:

HMYOI Parc is a small juvenile facility comprising two wings and holding up to 60 boys aged under 18 located in the much larger Parc prison in South Wales. The unit and wider prison are operated by the private company G4S. At the time of this annual inspection there were 37 boys in residence.

 At our last inspection we reported how good leadership and a re-energised staff group had contributed to significant improvement at the establishment. It was clear on this visit that the team had continued in their efforts to make the unit safer, more purposeful and more respectful. We had previously found high levels of violence, and boys with poor perceptions of their own safety. During this inspection, perceptions of safety were much better and recorded violence was on a consistent downward trajectory, with few serious incidents. Very few boys isolated themselves in their cells or were located in the segregation unit. The leadership team had established a reward-led culture that motivated most boys to behave, incorporating an evidence-based instant rewards scheme that we considered good practice.

 Child protection procedures, an area in which we have previously been critical, were now much more effective and again evidenced good practice. Similarly, the multidisciplinary case management approach to managing the victims and perpetrators of violence through the application of a nationally sponsored process known as CSIP1 was an example to the many establishments that have struggled to grasp its potential.

Our highest assessments were in the areas of respect and purposeful activity. The units were clean and well maintained, relationships between boys and staff were good, and staff were tolerant but also displayed the confidence to challenge inappropriate behaviour when necessary. They balanced authority and care to create a supportive and disciplined environment.

The strategic approach to the management of equality and diversity had improved and health care services remained good. Time out of cell was impressive, even for those on the lowest level of the rewards scheme. There had been a progressive move to establishing a whole-unit approach to managing the boys at Parc. Departments worked together in a way we do not often see. Some experienced prison officers had been supported to undertake the Postgraduate Certificate in Education training to work in education, which served to break down barriers between departments. The education unit was exceeding the performance indicators set out in its contract and boys achieved a success rate of over 90% in most qualifications.

 However, we made two main recommendations, one regarding the food and the other risk management. During our inspection, we spoke to most of the boys on both units. They were quick to praise staff and were very fair about their experiences at Parc, complaining about very little. This gave considerable credibility to their consistent complaints about food. Our own observations supported their negative perceptions and we would urge the prison to meet with the contractor at the earliest opportunity to address concerns in this important area.

Our second main recommendation concerned weaknesses in the establishment’s approach to risk management. Caseworkers worked well as part of multidisciplinary teams and were particularly effective in helping to manage boys on CSIP plans. The team knew the boys on their caseloads well and contact was good. However, despite significant information about risk being available to caseworkers, it was not always recognised or sufficiently investigated to inform sentence planning and management. This meant that planning for release did not adequately consider the vulnerabilities of or risks posed by some boys on their return to the community.

Given the energy and commitment put into addressing the concerns raised at previous inspections, we remain confident that leaders at Parc will make every effort to address our recommendations. This was a good inspection and we found that the establishment was characterised by good relationships, excellent multidisciplinary work and strong leadership.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM                   December 2018

 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Return to Parc

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