In its annual report for 2020-21 published today, the Warren Hill independent monitoring board notes that
- the prison feels safe for prisoners and staff
- the residents’ council has been a valuable conduit for communication between staff and prisoners, and
- prisoners have been well supported during periods of lockdown with the provision of welfare checks, education and distraction packs.
The inadequate telephone and information technology systems highlighted in last year’s report have been updated, enabling prisoners to maintain relationships with their families when face-to-face visits have not been possible.
- there have been ongoing problems with the provision and quality of food from the nearby Hollesley Bay prison kitchen and the IMB would like to see an on-site kitchen.
- Warren Hill’s main focus is a progression regime for prisoners who are serving life or indeterminate sentences. During the pandemic many aspects of this regime have not been able to function.
IMB Warren Hill Chair, Maggie Menzies, said:
“The impact of the pandemic has affected all aspects of life in the prison. Activities such as education and employment have been radically reduced and opportunities to maintain relationships to help prepare for release have been seriously restricted. In spite of this, the Board has been impressed by the unceasing efforts made by the Governor and staff of the prison to communicate with prisoners and to encourage engagement wherever possible. The Board has been struck by the positivity of prisoners and staff and the atmosphere in the prison has been calm throughout the year.”