TOO many inmates are being released from a prison near Rugby without having had access to ‘appropriate resettlement support’, according to a new report.
In its 2022-23 annual report, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMP) at HMP Rye Hill says there are ‘significant challenges to maintaining fair and humane treatment’ due to the ageing population of 664 prisoners at the category ‘B’ training prison near Willoughby.
The report also praised the prison’s ‘positive’ new initiatives for creating a greater sense of community, adding that relationships between staff and prisoners had improved, and palliative care initiatives and family liaison activity were ‘excellent’.
The Board also noted over 19,000 individual key worker sessions had been undertaken during the year, with every prisoner receiving at least one session a month.
The introduction of a media hub had improved communications throughout the prison and supported numerous prisoner-led initiatives, such as an internal newspaper and TV network.
There were also high levels of employment across the estate, with 96 per cent of eligible prisoners taking up roles within the industrial workshops, kitchens or on the units.
Prisoner attendance at education was also improved at 82 per cent.
IMB Rye Hill Chair 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.”
A spokesperson for HMP Rye Hill, which is run by security company G4S, said: “Overall, this is a very positive report. More than 40 per cent of our prison population are over the age of 50, many of whom have complex health and social care needs. We do everything we can to make sure these needs are met and that prisoners have the same access to health and social care that they would receive in the community.
“Rye Hill is a national resource and accepts prisoners from all over the country, which requires us to engage with probation and resettlement services across the UK. Despite these challenges, we ensure that every prisoner released from Rye Hill has settled accommodation to go to.”
Visit https://imb.org.uk/news/positive-prisoner-engagement-at-hmp-rye-hill to read the full report.