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Sunday 22 April 2018
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HMP Spring Hill: considerable progress


HMP Spring Hill remained a safe and well-run prison, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced short follow-up inspection of the men's open jail in Buckinghamshire.


HMP Spring Hill's last inspection was in 2008. Inspectors reported then that it was adjusting to deal with national population pressures and a shift in focus, but remained a safe prison with an impressively purposeful regime and a proper focus on resettlement.


The 2008 inspection noted, however, that much of the accommodation was reaching the end of its useful life and that work was needed to improve health care and diversity. This inspection found the prison remained safe and well run, although the accommodation remained poor.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

  • there was very little bullying and very few instances of self-harm
  • reception had improved and refurbishment had provided rooms where prisoners could be interviewed in private
  • security was proportionate and drug use was commendably low
  • staff-prisoner relationships were generally good, despite a weak personal officer scheme
  • the provision of health care had improved overall
  • there were very good educational and work opportunities, and partnerships with community organisations and local authorities had generated impressive training opportunities
  • resettlement provision was generally good with positive outcomes while offender management and public protection was very good.

However, inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • despite some refurbishment, most prisoner accommodation remained in poor condition and had deteriorated in some areas
  • although diversity work had improved, there remained significant gaps in planning care for prisoners with disabilities and older prisoners.

Nick Hardwick said:

"Overall this was a good inspection. The prison has made considerable progress in many important areas. Spring Hill  shows clearly the benefit that positive personal relationships can have along with an integrated working day that reflects life beyond prison. We have identified some areas that still require work but we acknowledge the improvements made by the establishment."

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:

"I am very pleased the Chief Inspector has acknowledged the progress made at Spring Hill. It is a tribute to the Governor and staff that it is a safe environment, that staff-prisoner relationships are good, and that offender management and resettlement are well managed.

"The work that Spring Hill does helps reduce re-offending and ensures the public are better protected."

View the HMP Spring Hill report.


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Ministry of Justice