Inspectors praise effectiveness of prison for sex offenders near Rugby - but there are some concerns

Inspectors found a training prison near Rugby holding only sex offenders has remained effective - but they have outlined a few ways things can improve.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 1:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 1:30 pm
HMP Rye Hill. Google Maps.

The G4S-run HMP Rye Hill, a training prison near Willoughby which holds male sex offenders, was inspected in September last year.

And the results of this inspection were released on February 7.

Of the 659 prisoners held at the time of the inspection, 488 were serving sentences of more than 10 years, while more than 100 were serving indeterminate sentences, including life.

Almost all of these men pose a high risk of serious harm to others.

When asked 'do you think your experiences in this prison have made you less likely to offend in the future?' 68 per cent of prisoners said 'yes'.

And more than half of the offenders said they live near to the prison.

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “This is basically an effective prison delivering good outcomes.

"The amount of violence recorded was not excessive and those incidents that did occur were not normally very serious.

"The atmosphere in the prison was settled and most prisoners seemed motivated to engage with the staff and the daily regime.”

Inspectors assessed the prison’s rehabilitation and release planning, including public protection and preparation of men to transfer to prisons that would release them, to be good.

This was the same grade as at the previous inspection in 2015.

Self-harm was relatively high, but a spokesperson for the prison said a comparatively small number of prisoners accounted for a disproportionate number of incidents.

And Mr Clarke said: “Those in crisis suggested to us that they felt well cared for, aided in part by good peer support engagement.”

Inspectors also said Rye Hill was clean and well maintained, and cell accommodation was found to be very good.

Access to amenities such as clothing, showers and cleaning materials was similarly good.

Prisoners were unlocked for meaningful amounts of time and very few were locked up during the working day.

There was good access to recreational facilities, including an activity centre offering support for older, vulnerable and disabled men.

But inspectors judged the overall effectiveness of education, skills and work as ‘requires improvement’.

Public protection work was satisfactory, but a concern shared in the report was that in some cases risk management plans were being drawn-up too close to the time of a prisoner's release.

The report stated this is: 'a concern given that many of those due for release presented a high risk of serious harm to others.'

Overall, Mr Clarke said: “At Rye Hill we found a well-led establishment working hard to promote the well-being of its prisoners, to sustain a credible community ethos and to create a meaningful rehabilitative culture.

We found some very effective outcomes and while there were gaps, there was every reason to believe that the prison was very well placed to improve still further.”

Phil Copple, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) director general for Prisons, said: “G4S is running an effective prison at HMP Rye Hill which is focused on giving offenders the skills they need to turn their lives around.

"Since the inspection, increased checks and support have been put in place for those prisoners most at risk of self-harm, and I am confident that the prison will respond to the report’s recommendations to improve even further.”