In its 2021-22 annual report, the Board at Stocken commends the prison for its hard work and care for prisoners over the last year, praising the move to an effective regime following the pandemic. The Board notes the following:
- prisoners were treated fairly and humanely
- Stocken was a safe and secure environment with some effective initiatives to reduce self-harm and violence
- the regime for prisoners was generally good, offering adequate time for exercise and purposeful activity.
However, the Board had a number of concerns relating to the resettlement of prisoners. Although Stocken is not a resettlement prison, the number of prisoners being released directly into the community is rising. While staff did their best to help prisoners work towards effective resettlement, they were not resourced to work as a resettlement team. The shortage of probation officers further impacted preparations for release.
IMB Stocken Chair, Ruth Bray says: “This has been a testing year for Stocken, following the challenges presented by the pandemic. The Board is confident that the prison took all necessary steps to preserve the humane treatment of prisoners over the last year and is pleased to see that much of the good work that was done before lockdown has started to resume. In last year’s annual report, we reported that there was a pressing need for increased capacity in category D (open) prisons. More places should be made available for speedier transfer of category D prisoners out of category C establishments’.