HMYOI Reading had made further progress, which was commendable, said Nick
Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced
short follow-up inspection of the young offender institution in Berkshire.
Reading prison, built in 1844, has had a number of roles and currently
holds remanded and convicted young male adults. Its last inspection in 2009
established that the prison was performing reasonably well across all four
healthy prison areas – safety, respect, purposeful activity and
Inspectors were pleased to find that:
- prisoners felt safe, and new arrivals received a full reception and first
night service, even if they arrived late in the evening;
- health services had made clear improvements to the environment and 24-hour
nursing cover was in place;
- the integrated drug treatment system (IDTS) had improved care, and there
were now specialist staff and designated cells;
- education and training were well managed, and good levels of achievement had
been maintained and improved;
- the number of activity places had been increased and the range of vocational
training had been expanded;
- resettlement and offender management work were in a state of transition, but
the new model of case management and the extension of assessment and custody
planning were positive;
- most unsentenced prisoners were from the local area, which meant they could
more easily receive domestic and legal visits; and
- pre-release arrangements for prisoners were reasonable.
However, inspectors were concerned to find that:
- although the use of special accommodation had reduced, prisoners were kept
in the accommodation for lengthy periods with little reintegration planning;
- personal officers were rarely involved with self-harm monitoring reviews;
- cells designed for one prisoner continued to hold two; and
- there were instances where staff had taken too long to answer cell call
Nick Hardwick said:
'It is commendable that Reading continues to improve in spite of the dated
infrastructure and buildings. Education and health care offer a good service,
and if the resettlement plans deliver on their early promise, the outcomes for
prisoners will continue to improve.'
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender
Management Service (NOMS), said:
'The Chief Inspector rightly recognises the commendable work going on
at Reading, creating a positive and safe environment which challenges the young
people to engage in education and training and to address their offending
'We are committed to providing prisoners with a strong resettlement
programme and the Governor will ensure that work in this area continues apace.'
- View a copy of the report.
- HM Inspectorate of Prisons is an independent inspectorate, inspecting places
of detention to report on conditions and treatment, and promote positive
outcomes for those detained and the public.
- This unannounced short follow-up inspection was carried out from 9-11 May
- HMYOI Reading holds remanded and convicted young male adults (aged 18-21).
- Please contact Jane Parsons at HMI Prisons on 07880 787552 if you would like
more information or to request an interview with Nick Hardwick.