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HMP Birmingham a 'good' establishment say monitors

Despite managing more than 9,000 prisoners through the course of a year, independent monitors say they are 'impressed' with day-to-day levels of stability at HMP Birmingham
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An independent watchdog has today reported that G4S-managed HMP Birmingham provides a “good service” to those in its care and is “committed” to continuous improvement.
HMP Birmingham’s Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) reported that despite the challenges of being a large and complex organisation, monitors continue to be impressed with the care and support for very difficult prisoners and prison-wide initiatives aimed at developing a world-class prison.  
The Board highlights that during the course of a year, more than 9,000 prisoners will move through the category B, 1,450-capacity prison.  Despite these high levels of churn and complex operating environment, monitors said they were impressed with the level of day-to-day stability and initiatives to tackle violent behaviour.  
The Board has full access to prisoners, the building, staff and management and is charged with reporting annually on how the prison is meeting the standards and requirements placed on it.    
Responding to today’s report, G4S Director for HMP Birmingham, Pete Small, said:
“HMP Birmingham is one of the largest and busiest local prisons in the country and I am particularly pleased that this report recognises the hard work and dedication of the team to provide a safe and stable regime for the prisoners we look after. 
“The report follows independent research published this summer showing rising quality of life scores at Birmingham and a “rekindled” public service ethos since we took over management of the prison.  We will continue to work with the Ministry of Justice and our partners locally to build on our successes and address new and emerging challenges.”    
Commenting in the report, Chair of HMP Birmingham’s Independent Monitoring Board, Rodger Lawrence, said:
“My hope is that readers have got a true and accurate view of an organisation achieving much with an exceptionally difficult and complex environment.  In a local prison with a high level of “churn”, I continue to be impressed by the level of day to day stability.”
HMP Birmingham was the first prison to move from the public to private sector in October 2011 and will be run by G4S for 15 years.  

Notes to editors

The report can be found on the IMB website.  

Independent research commissioned by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) into the quality of life for prisoners and staff at HMP Birmingham was published in July 2015.  The three-year study found that quality of life had improved and the commitment to the notion of public service had been rekindled. The report can be found on the Ministry of Justice area within the website.  

The Prison Act 1952 and the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 require every prison and Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) to be monitored by an independent Board appointed by the Secretary of State from members of the community in which the prison or centre is situated.