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HMP Gartree in need of extensive repairs

The Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Gartree has highlighted in its 2022-23 annual report that major works and further investment from the Prison Service is needed in order to ensure the prison is a safe, secure and humane environment for those living and working inside it.

The Board reported that:

  • Cells cannot accommodate all wheelchair users accessibility needs, which is of particular concern in the older prisoners’ wing.
  • The repairs to the heating system do not appear to have fixed all of the issues; as a result, prisoners on the over 50s wing were without any heating for several weeks during a particularly cold spell in November 2023.
  • The length of time prisoners are having to wait to access specialist mental health care is increasing.

However, the Board is pleased to report that:

  • Relationships between staff and prisoners were observed to be mostly positive and prisoners generally reported feeling safe.

IMB Gartree Chair, Tim Norman, said:

“The fire safety upgrades continued slowly throughout the reporting year and improvements to the infrastructure of the wings were extremely limited. It is of concern to the Board that HMP Gartree may not get sufficient funds to help support the major investment needed to repair this prison and make it a decent and humane environment for the men living here.”