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Positive prisoner engagement at HMP Rye Hill

In its 2022-23 annual report published today, the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Rye Hill highlights a number of positive initiatives that have been rolled out over the reporting year, creating a greater sense of community within the prison. The Board has also seen improved relationships between staff and prisoners, and excellent palliative care initiatives and family liaison activity. 

HMP Rye Hill IMB also notes:

  • that over 19,000 individual key worker sessions have been undertaken during the year, with every prisoner receiving at least one session a month.
  • the introduction of a media hub which has improved communications throughout the prison and supported numerous prisoner-led initiatives, such as an internal newspaper and TV network.
  • that there are high levels of employment across the estate, with 96% of eligible prisoners taking up roles within the industrial workshops, kitchens or on the units.
  • that prisoner attendance at education is much improved and is now at 82%.

The Board, however, reports the following concerns:

  • the new property policy framework does not appear to have improved the situation for prisoners whose property goes missing, especially on transfer.
  • the ongoing challenges for prisoners serving imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentences, especially those with complex needs.

Chair of the IMB Rye Hill, Pete Griffiths said:

“We are pleased to recognise the initiatives that have been put into place during the reporting year, such as the development and ongoing enhancement of the media hub, and for encouraging other prisoner-led initiatives. The ageing prison population, however, means that there are significant challenges to maintaining fair and humane treatment, we commend the prison for the priority given to family liaison of those prisoners receiving end of life care. However, given that Rye Hill is not a resettlement prison, too many prisoners are being released from here not having had access to appropriate resettlement support.”