Report finds Wayland Prison making progress but concerns remain

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk prison is making progress, despite safety concerns following a sharp rise in violence since its last inspection, a new report has found.

A Norfolk prison is making progress, despite safety concerns following a sharp rise in violence since its last inspection, a new report has found.

The report into conditions at HMP Wayland, near Watton, by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, stated: “The number of violent incidents had increased steadily between 2015 and 2016.”

However, there was clear evidence that this had begun to fall in the months leading up to the recent inspection.

It described work being done by prison staff to reduce violence as “meaningful” and described the prison as “very well-led”.

Despite this progress, the report detailed some specific safety concerns, including:

• The number of assaults remained very high.

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• The level of self-harm had risen and was high.

• The level of use of force was high and its governance was inadequate.

• The overall number of recorded assaults had risen sharply since the previous inspection.

• Five prisoners (4pc of survey respondents) reported they had been sexually abused by staff.

• Almost half of [survey] respondents said they had felt unsafe in the prison at some time.

• More than a quarter of [survey] respondents said that they currently felt unsafe in the prison.

Prison inspectors gathered this data during an unannounced visit to HMP Wayland earlier this year.

Read more: Concerns over turf wars between rival London gangs and staff shortages at Wayland Prison, says report

They observed and surveyed prisoners and staff from June 19 to June 30. The prison was previously inspected in late 2013.

Peter Clarke, HM Inspector of Prisons, said the category C prison was moving in a positive direction.

He said safety was a key priority and meaningful work was being done at Wayland to confront and reduce violence.

Mr Clarke added: “Overall, Wayland was, in our view, making progress and this is an encouraging report.”

Read more: Wayland Prison staff member admits smuggling class A drug into jail

Michael Spurr, CEO of HM Prison and Probation Service, said: “The Chief Inspector has commended the positive work being done at Wayland.

“The progress being made in challenging circumstances is a credit to the governor and staff.”

The category C prison houses almost 1,000 men, with more than two thirds of prisoners serving more than four years behind bars, and more than 100 serving life sentences.

Read more: Prisoner shouts ‘this is for Allah’ as he attacks guard at HMP Wayland in Norfolk

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