HMYOI Werrington, Inspections

The prison was given an inspection by HMIP in January 2020. The full report can be found if you follow the links below. In their latest reports the inspectors said.

HMYOI Werrington holds up to 118 children aged between 15 and 17. The establishment, in common with other young offender institutions (YOIs), is inspected more frequently than adult prisons, and was last inspected in February 2019. At this inspection we found a well-led institution where effective partnership work was starting to lead to improvements in all of our tests of a healthy establishment. Outcomes in care had improved and were now good, our highest grade. Outcomes in purposeful activity and resettlement remained reasonably good. However, despite some progress, high levels of violence meant outcomes were still not sufficiently good for safety.

Children were well supported upon arrival and the induction arrangements had improved. In addition, the Governor had led efforts to reduce the number of children who needed to be kept apart from each other. This had impacted positively on access to activity, including education, for all children. The welfare and development enhancement (WADE) unit had been redefined and now provided good support for children who would otherwise be self-isolating on normal location. Better oversight of separation was leading to an improved regime for separated children, but weaknesses in behaviour management identified at the previous inspection remained and, ultimately, levels of violence against both staff and children were still too high.

 Outcomes in care had improved. We observed good relationships between staff and children with many examples of staff working patiently with children. Managers had improved consultation and systems for redress were impressive: complaints were thoroughly investigated, a large proportion were upheld and children regularly received apologies when appropriate. This helped establish a culture that was open to challenge and learned from mistakes. Discussion about equality and diversity provision was being embedded in all fora at Werrington. Healthcare services were good and partnership work between Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) managers and the healthcare providers had reduced the number of missed appointments.

Time out of cell was reasonably good for most children, and access to the gym and library was good. Another impact of effective partnership working was in education, where prison and education managers had improved attendance which was now consistently over 90%. The reduction in the number of keep apart issues meant more children could access courses that met their needs, and most made good progress. However, behaviour was not well managed in some sessions and some children made slow progress in the key areas of English and mathematics.

Resettlement work was reasonably good and there had been improvements in the use of release on temporary licence (ROTL) to support resettlement. However, sentence planning reviews were still poorly attended by residential staff. Public protection measures were undermined by a lack of oversight of risk management and release preparations for children who posed high risk of serious harm.

This is a positive report. The decline in outcomes we found at the previous inspection has been halted, and, in care, reversed. In other areas recent improvements need more time to become embedded and have a measurable impact on outcomes.

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
March 2020

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