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 December 2016 report:

This report concerns the small juvenile institution for up to 64 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. Owing to the risks and accountabilities associated with such facilities, and in consultation with the Youth Justice Board, we inspect all young offender institutions (YOIs) annually.

We last inspected the institution in January 2016. At the time – and in keeping with previous inspections – we reported positively, although on that occasion we did record some deterioration in our assessments for our healthy prison tests of safety and respect, and cautioned the prison against complacency. Unfortunately that warning was not heeded sufficiently and at  this inspection we recorded yet further deterioration in outcomes related to safety and respect.

It was a particular concern that procedures and practice to support child  safeguarding and child protection had worsened significantly. The administration of arrangements as  well as the consistency and rigour with which referrals and investigations were managed was lacking. We address this concern and seek immediate improvements in  the first of our main recommendations.

Safety in general was not good enough. Some 42% of boys told us they felt victimised by others and 60% felt victimised by staff – a significant increase and worse than at comparable prisons. In our survey nearly a third of boys indicated they felt unsafe. In the six previous months, although most were minor, there had been in excess of 100 violent incidents. As an example, the number of assaults on staff had increased from two to 22 when compared  to the six months prior to our previous visit. At this inspection we found four boys self-isolating in cell for their own protection.

Strategies, policies and initiatives existed with the intention of reducing violence and intimidation as well as promoting positive behaviour, but they were  not applied consistently or effectively and were not working. Of particular concern was the insufficient visible leadership on the unit, and staff, whilst generally caring, lacked authority or confidence. All too often we saw staff failing in their duty to confront poor behaviour or set acceptable boundaries. The needs for much better management initiative, more effective strategies to confront poor behaviour, and more effective staff supervision are the subjects of our two other main recommendations.

Security procedures on the unit were proportionate and evidence suggested the influence of illegal drugs was not strong. Use of force, in contrast, was much higher than we would expect and the quality of supervision and oversight needed to be better. Formal segregation was used infrequently.  It was the case, however, that too many boys at risk of self-harm and subject to case management support were left isolated and alone in cell. The number of self-harm incidents on the unit remained relatively high.

The YOI at Parc is a relatively small, arguably claustrophobic facility. During our inspection some refurbishment was taking place but, environmentally, standards and cleanliness were not good enough. The unit was shabby and too often the atmosphere on the wings was described by inspectors as unruly. The absence of visible leadership to set consistent standards and model expected behaviour was very obvious to us.

The promotion of equality and diversity remained very limited and rudimentary, but health care services were mostly good. The quality of food was reasonable overall.

The amount of time boys spent out of cell had worsened but the delivery of learning and skills was beginning to improve. Our colleagues in Estyn judged provision to be ‘good’ overall, with good-quality teaching and good achievements by boys. Boys behaved well in class and there were enough places on offer, but punctuality was poor.

Resettlement services were similarly improving, supported by an up-to-date needs analysis. All boys had a sentence plan but needed to be better engaged with the process and its requirements. Release planning was generally satisfactory, although there was a need to consider how offending behaviour work might be improved. Work with families was excellent.

The YOI at Parc has over recent years been one about which we have been very positive. It was arguably one of the best such institutions and had a number of advantages, not least its small size. There remained much still to commend, notably the provision of learning and skills and resettlement services. We also acknowledged that the small number of boys held on the units presented significant individual and behavioural challenges. That said, the deterioration in safety and general standards on the unit needed to be arrested. Systems and procedures were in place but they were not working. A firmer grip and visible leadership were needed urgently. Staff needed guidance and support and they needed greater confidence in establishing their authority and exercising better control over what was happening in the institution.


Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM

February   2017                                                                             

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:

  • HMYOI Parc Juvenile Unit (541.29 kB), Report on an unannounced inspection of the juvenile unit at HMYOI Parc (5-16 December 2016)
  • HMYOI Parc Juvenile unit (PDF, 1.09 MB), Report on an announced inspection of HMYOI Parc Juvenile unit (11 – 22 January 2016)
  • HMP/YOI ParcReport on an unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (30 November – 1 December; 18 – 22 January 2016)
  • HMYOI Parc Juvenile Unit, Unannounced inspection report of HMYOI Parc Juvenile Unit (28 April – 9 May 2014)
  • HMP/YOI Parc, Unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (9-19 July 2013)
  • CEM / STI Parc, Arolygiad dirybudd Carchar EM / Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc (9-19 Gorffennaf 2013)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews: Children and young people’s self-reported perceptions, 9 July 2013
  • Uned Pobl Ifanc yn STI a CEM Parc, Arolygiad lle y rhoddwyd rhybudd o’r Uned Pobl Ifanc yn Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a Charchar EM Parc (21 Rhagfyr 2012)
  • HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Announced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (2-6 July 2012)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews: Children and young people’s self-reported perceptions (30–31 May 2012)
  • STI/CEM Parc, Arolygiad llawn a dirybudd o Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a CEM Parc (15 – 24 Medi 2010)
  • HMP/YOI Parc, Full unannounced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (15 – 24 September 2010)
  • Uned Pobl Ifanc yn STI/CEM Parc, Arolygiad byr a dirybudd o’r Uned Pobl Ifanc yn Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc a Charchar EM Parc (14 – 17 Medi 2010)
  • HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (14 – 17 September 2010)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (19 July 2011)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (6-7 July 2010)
  • HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit, Announced inspection of HMP/YOI Parc Young People’s Unit (15-19 June 2009) (English and Cymraeg)
  • CEM a Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc, Arolygiad dilynol llawn dirybudd o CEM a Sefydliad Troseddwyr Ifanc y Parc (7-11 Gorffennaf 2008)
  • HMP/YOI Parc, Unannounced full follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (7-11 July 2008)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of questionnaires and interviews (18 May 2009)
  • HMP/YOI Parc (juveniles), Unannounced short follow-up inspection of HMP/YOI Parc (juveniles) (1-5 October 2007)
  • HMYOI Parc, Summary of Questionnaires and Interviews (28 August 2007)
  • CEM/STI y Parc (ieuenctid), Arolygiad dilynol byr heb ei gyhoeddi ymlaen llaw ar CEM/STI y Parc (ieuenctid) (1-5 Hydref 2007)
  • HMYOI Parc ‘ Summary of Questionnaires and Interviews (1 July 2008)