HMYOI Glen Parva, HMIP Inspections

The prison was given a full inspection in November 2105. The inspector in his report said that:

“HMYOI Glen Parva in Leicestershire is a young offender institution holding just under 650 young men aged mainly 18 to 21 years old. Those held ranged from remanded and unsentenced prisoners to a significant number who had commenced longer sentences after conviction. In terms of maturity, vulnerability and risk, managing young men in establishments like Glen Parva is a huge challenge. When we last inspected in 2014 we found a prison with many problems and saw it as an example of a custody model that was not working. We noted at the time that the determined efforts of the then newly appointed governor were beginning to improve outcomes, but we still felt the need to return quickly to Glen Parva and follow up our inspection because of our concerns.

The risks evident in this prison had not diminished but Glen Parva had improved; something we recognise in two of our four healthy prison tests.

Glen Parva was a safer prison but still not safe enough. The weekend before our inspection had seen concerted indiscipline on one of the wings that had rendered it temporarily unusable. The prison was resilient and was recovering well but it was an apt demonstration of the ever-present challenges it faced. Data indicated that the prison held a greater preponderance of violent offenders than other similar prisons, and that the amount of violence in the prison was both high and increasing. In our survey, a quarter of prisoners indicated they currently felt unsafe and over half had felt unsafe at some time. Forty-two per cent of prisoners indicated to us that they felt victimised by other prisoners. The prison was not inactive in response to this. Useful work had been done to create strategies to try to grip the issue. Monitoring and the identification of hotspots were good, victims were being identified and the most challenging prisoners were being case managed. Communication with prisoners was also better but it remained a concern that too many young men were self isolating in their cells out of fear and not enough was being done to support them.

Like violence, self-harm had also increased (309 incidents in the last six months) and two young men had taken their own lives since we last inspected. Tragically while we were inspecting, another young man who had self-harmed the week before we arrived died in hospital as a consequence of his injuries. However, the case management we observed that supported those at risk was reasonable and in general, young men in crisis felt well cared for by staff. This was also true, unusually, of those in crisis who had been segregated.

Security arrangements were applied reasonably and good staff interaction with prisoners enabled useful dynamic security. Structures to confront gang and drug activity were supported by good partnership working with the local police, although it was clear that new undetectable psychoactive substances remained a significant problem. The prison’s strategic approach to tackling drug supply, supported by effective substance misuse and health interventions was, however, beginning to have some success. The use of formal disciplinary procedures, force and segregation were all high, but in general, management supervision and accountability was sound and, in our view, the use of these interventions was, in most instances, legitimate.

The prison was set in well-maintained grounds and, although there was an active programme of refurbishment in place, the quality of accommodation varied greatly. Some cells remained in a poor condition and far too many were overcrowded. Relationships between staff and prisoners were very good and we observed many respectful interactions. The prison had recently taken on a significant tranche of new staff and it was pleasing to see these new officers embraced as an asset and opportunity for the prison as it moved forward; our inspections often find that the inexperience of new staff is seen by establishments as a burden.

The prison had a good and developing model for the promotion of equality, supported by improved consultation and the designation of equality champions among the senior managers. More, however, needed to be done to address negative perceptions among some groups, in particular Muslim, disabled and foreign national prisoners. The management of discrimination complaints also required improvement, although responses to general complaints were much better. Pastoral support from the chaplaincy was visible and strong, and catering arrangements were improved. Outcomes in health care were similarly much improved.

The weakest outcomes we observed in Glen Parva concerned learning and skills and activity. Time out of cell had deteriorated and we found well over a quarter of young men locked in their cells during the working day. Many association periods were routinely cancelled and the working day was too short. Punctuality at activity was poor. Arrangements to improve the quality of learning and skills were insufficient and taking too long. There were sufficient activity places for all and allocation was reasonably efficient, but too much teaching in education was poor and learners were insufficiently challenged. The promotion of functional skills was weak.

Outcomes were generally better in vocational training. Achievement across learning and skills provision varied greatly but overall it required improvement. Outcomes in resettlement were reasonably good, although the function of the offender management unit was not well coordinated with resettlement services. Many prisoners lacked an assessment of their risks (OASys) when they arrived, but this was being addressed by the prison. Sentence planning and contact by offender supervisors was limited but improving, and all prisoners were seen on arrival and received a proper basic custody screen. Public protection arrangements were sound. Reintegration planning was generally good and the new community rehabilitation company (CRC) seemed to have made a good start. Outcomes across most of the resettlement pathways were good or improving.

Glen Parva continued to face many challenges but this is an encouraging report in difficult circumstances. The prison was well led and the management team had the right values and was enthusiastic. The staff group were committed and keen to do a good job; priorities were being identified, and higher expectations were being set. Running Glen Parva well is tough but improvements were clearly evident. The governor and her team were doing a good job and deserve credit for the improvements they had made.

Martin Lomas                                                February 2016

HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons”
Return to Glen Parva

To see the full report go the Ministry of Justice web site from the link below. This section contains the reports for Glen Parva from 2002 until present:

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