In its 2020-21 annual report, praises the prison for trying to mitigate the impact of Covid restrictions and looks forward to a return to normality with more opportunities for progression.
The Board notes that
- Prisoners are generally treated fairly and humanely, and the prison took positive steps to try to preserve this in spite of the impact of the very restricted regime necessary during the pandemic.
- The regime was fairly stable, with few serious incidents and a reduction in illegal drug use, violence and use of force.
However, the Board has some concerns about the progression opportunities for Stocken prisoners
- The Prison Service needs to address the backlog of prisoners currently awaiting transfer from to category D or resettlement prisons.
- More urgency is needed as too many prisoners are waiting too long for these progressive moves.
- The Prison Service also needs to provide more funding for behavioural programmes, as the lack of access to these programmes impacts on prisoners’ capacity to reduce their risk of reoffending and progress to more open conditions.
IMB Stocken Vice Chair, Ed Pollock, said:
“…As has been the case with all establishments during the past 18 months, this has been a challenging year for staff and prisoners at HMP Stocken. The necessary extended lock-up period during Covid undoubtedly impacted on freedom of movement and association of prisoners across the establishment but staff worked hard to maintain, as much as possible, a working regime. when their own morale was, at times, low. We are very pleased to see the prison moving steadily to something of a more normal regime where much of the good work that was done in the prison before lockdown can begin to resume”