BACKGROUND NOTE ON ASHFIELD PRISON AND
YOUNG OFFENDER INSTITUTION
Ashfield opened on 1 November 1999 and is operated
by Premier Prison Services Ltd. Dave Bramley, is the Director
and the acting Home Office Controller (ie monitor) is Peter McLean.
Prison Service oversight is through David Waplington, Head of
the Juvenile Operational Management Group.
2. Ashfield is developing a culture that
is achieving a good balance between security and care for prisoners.
The first year of operation has inevitably had some difficulties
most notably that of staff turnover, which has at times led to
shortages with attendant problems. Premier Prisons have tried
to address this and turnover slowed for a while but has begun
to increase again. This needs to be watched carefully. There have
been incidents of friction between different groups of prisoners.
The establishment is taking a proactive approach to resolving
this issue. The mix of juveniles/youth offenders has caused some
logistical problems and the area manager is aware that Premier
would prefer an entire juvenile population. The relatively recent
change of the Director and Deputy Director, was well managed and
has given fresh impetus to the establishment development.
3. Ashfield's CNA (certified normal accommodationthe
number of prisoners which can be held without overcrowding) is
400 and the operational capacity 440. Ashfield has provision to
overcrowd by 10 per cent but it has never reached the CNA. As
of 17 April the population stood at 351 and was made up of 240
sentenced juveniles, 14 convicted awaiting juvenile sentence,
28 unconvicted juveniles, 40 unconvicted young offenders and 29
young offenders awaiting sentence. There are about 50 prisoner
moves a day.
4. In the last twelve months, there have
been four incidents of concerted indiscipline. Two incidents involving
young people barricading themselves in cells and refusing to vacate
(a group of seven and nine prisoners). Both were resolved without
the use of force. The third incident involved a fight between
two groups of prisoners on an exercise yard, which appeared racially
motivated. The fourth, and most recent, occurred on Christmas
Day when 13 young people barricaded themselves in one cell. They
cited boredom as their motivation for the action. The incident
was resoved peacefully without use of force and without injury
to young people or staff. In common with all prisons, Ashfield
has a Board of Visitors (BOV). They are appointed by the Home
Secretary, to whom they report and act as his "eyes and ears"
concerning the conditions in which prisoners are held. Ashfield's
BOV have recently acknowledged the improved anti-bullying strategy
and a race relations strategy to deal with Welsh/English friction.
They have also raised the issue of limited sanctions for offenders
detained under the Detention and Training Order. This is a national
issue and not limited to Ashfield.
5. Ashfield is contracted to provide 35
hours per week of purposeful activity for young people. The overall
average figure for the prison (which includes young people and
adult prisoners is 28.3 hours. This is because the figures depend
on individual need, offenders can take up course work leading
to appropriate accreditation. A range of activities are offered
Vocational Training: Courses can be full-time
or part-time and can be combined with other education programmes.
Learning Support/Resource based learning
Communication and Literarcy
Food Technology and Bedsit Cooking
Craft, Design and Technology
Information Communication Technology
Life and Social Skills (Citizenship)
Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies
Computer Games and Programming
Information Communication Technology
Horticulture and Gardening
Painting and Decorating
Self-supporting educational programmes available
for those young people unable to attend.
Certificate of Achievement
Award Scheme Development Accreditation
Network (ASDAN) awards
Associated Examining Board (AEB)Literacy
and Numeracy Tests
The English Speaking Board (ESB)
City and Guilds (C&G) Profile
NVQ Level 2 in Desktop Publishing
Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Computer
Literacy and Information Technology (CLAIT)
British Institute of Cleaning (BICs)
||Job search skills|
|Thinking skills||Interview techniques
|Black and Asian Self Development Course
|IMPACT Car Crime||Pre-Release:
* CARATscounselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare
6. It is a requirement of the Youth Justice Board that
HM Chief Inspector Prisons, accompanied by OfSTED Inspectors,
visit all juvenile estate education departments annually. The
Youth Justice Board appointed monitor visits monthly. Unannounced
visits by the YJB occur usually every six weeks.
7. There is 24 hour nursing cover plus a part-time medical
officer. There is on-site dentistry. Local NHS hospital used for
surgical and acute medical procedures and radiology. However,
Ashfield has had difficulty in acquiring adolescent forensic psychiatry
services from the NHS.
8. The types of drugs found in random mandatory drug
tests and their percentage consist of cannabis 95 per cent and
opiates 5 per cent. Ashfield is contracted to test 10 per cent
of all new receptions. Data shows 84 per cent test positive to
drugs. However, in random tests, the average positive rate is
16.4 per cent. Ten per cent of the population takes a mandatory
drug test each month as specified in the contract.
9. A voluntary testing programme is available to all
young people irrespective of status and regime level. Good use
is made of intelligence, leading to a number of occasions when
police attended to interview visitors suspected of trafficking.
A Barrenger Machine (a drug "sniffing" machine) and
an "active" drug dog are on-site. The Assistant Director
of Programmes represents the prison at South Gloucestershire Drug
Action Team. Community drugs agencies are represented on the Drug
10. As part of the process to identify prisoners with
drug problems, new prisoners are interviewed by nurses and an
induction officer. All young people who request medical detoxification
are provided with a seven day symptomatic relief programme once
reception urine test shows positive results. Prisoners are referred
to CARATs (two full-time counsellors) upon reception via Youth
Offending Team, Psychology and Unit. Intensive programme of group
work/individual counselling provided to young people with problem
drug use. Education workshops/awareness programmes for the less
severe. Alternative medicine via acupuncture to assist with detoxification
and dependency issues. Currently operate an enhanced wing with
voluntary testing compliant element to ensure a drug free wing.
11. Details of Ashfield's performance against key performance
indicators follows this note.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR SUMMARY
|KPI||Performance Year To Date
||Annual Target |
|Escapes||The number of escapes from prison.
|No. of escapes||0 ||0
|Assaults||The number of assaults on staff, prisoners and others.
|No. of Assaults||1861
|Random drug testing||The rate of positive testing for drugs.
|% of positive tests||16.4%1
|Purposeful Activity||The number of hours which, on average prisoners spend in purposeful activity.
|Average purposeful hours per week||28.32
|OBPs||The number of prisoners completing programmes accredited as effective in reducing re-offending.
|Sex offender treatment programmes||0
|Total OBPs||0 ||n/a
|Cost per place||The average cost per prisoner.
|Sickness||The amount of days lost through sick absence.
|Correspondence||The rate of correspondence replied to in target.
|% of correspondence replied to in target
||99.6% ||95% |
1 Drugs and Assaults data are provisional for up to two months
after the reporting period.
2 This is the average figure for the prison which includes adult
prisoners. Premier Prisons is required to provide 35 hours a week
for young offenders.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR SUMMARY
|Non-KPI||Performance Year To Date
|As at 1 March 2001||362
|Deaths||The number of deaths in custody
||of which self inflicted
|Random drug testing||The rate of testing for drugs
||Male closed young offender
|% of pop tested||10.5%(*)
|Release on Temporary Licence||The number of prisoners released
||Number of Temporary Release Failures (actual and as a %)
|As at 1 March 2001||44
|Other Supporting Indicators:||Actual
|Training: Annualised days/staff||0.0
|Unlocking for 10 hours+||Yes
Note: (*) Drugs and Assaults data are provisional for up to
two months after the reporting period.