HMYOI Werrington, Inspections

The prison was given an inspection by HMIP in February 2019. The full report can be found if you follow the links below. In their latest reports the inspectors said:

HMYOI Werrington holds around 120 children aged between 15 and 18. The establishment was last inspected in January 2018. On this occasion, in February 2019, we found there had been a deterioration in outcomes across three out of four of our healthy prison tests. While three areas were found to be reasonably good, it was of concern that outcomes for children were not sufficiently good in safety.

The number of assaults on children remained high and violence against staff had doubled since our previous inspection. This impacted on all aspects of life at Werrington.

We found that potentially motivational behaviour management policies were undermined by poor implementation and the lack of consistency in their application led to frustration among children and staff. Opportunities to reward good behaviour were missed and we saw many examples of low level poor behaviour not being challenged.

It was notable that there had been significant staff turnover in the previous year. During the inspection we met many enthusiastic staff in their first year of service. However, leaders and managers needed to be more visible to support these staff, model effective practice and ensure behaviour management policies were properly implemented to help reduce the high levels of violence at Werrington.

Outcomes with respect to care were more encouraging. The promotion of equality and diversity by the education provider was particularly good and we found no evidence of disproportionate treatment of children from minority groups. Health care was also very good. Engagement between staff and children was respectful but opportunities to build more meaningful and effective relationships were missed.

Time out of cell was reasonably good for most children but ‘keep apart’ issues meant there were often delays in moving them to education, health care or other appointments. This meant that resource was wasted as teachers, clinicians and other professionals waited for children to arrive. Attendance at education had improved since the previous inspection and children appreciated the better range of vocational subjects on offer. In most areas children who attended education consistently made satisfactory progress and achieved well, but there continued to be weaknesses in the provision of English and mathematics. Support for children with additional learning needs was very good but there was too little outreach provision to meet the needs of children who were unable to attend mainstream education.

There was some good work in support of resettlement but a lack of coordination, and caseworkers and sentence plans were not driving the care of children at Werrington. There are many positives in this report but weaknesses in behaviour management have led to deterioration of outcomes in some areas. Managers need to make a concerted effort to support frontline staff in the challenging task of implementing behaviour management schemes, with the principal aim of reducing the number of violent incidents at Werrington

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
April 2019
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

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To read the full report go to the Ministry of Justice web site or follow the links below