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G4S-managed HMP Parc is ‘committed to a culture of rehabilitation’ says HMIP

Many positives are to be taken from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ (HMIP) latest report on HMP Parc, in which outcomes for prisoners were rated as good or reasonably good across all four healthy prison tests. 
Parc gardens

HMIP made an unannounced inspection to G4S-managed HMP Parc in Bridgend, South Wales between 21 and 22 June and 4 and 8 July 2022.

In the report, Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor writes that he has ‘no doubt that this prison will continue to thrive as a place where leaders and staff believe in and are committed to a culture of rehabilitation.’

Parc was rated ‘good’ for purposeful activity, the highest score it is possible to achieve. The inspectorate said there was an ‘impressive commitment to the delivery of a thriving and purposeful regime and everyone at Parc worked together to support this.’

Most prisoners were unlocked for between six and 10.5 hours a day during the week and that unemployment among prisoners was low at about 7%. 

Extensive education, training and employment opportunities were also available - from basic reading and number skills through to vocational training and further and higher education qualifications. Many prisoners, the report finds, ‘valued the wide range of options available to them.’

Under the safety test, Parc was judged to be ‘reasonably good’. Inspectors found that many aspects of the prison’s regime motivated and encouraged positive behaviour, including an effective peer support scheme, various enrichment activities and the opportunity to ‘flourish’ on specialised units.

Support for prisoners during their induction was also rated as ‘excellent’, with each prisoner undergoing a review of vulnerability indicators which then informs the residential accommodation they’re assigned to. 

I’m extremely proud of my team and their achievements in getting our regime back up and running so quickly post the huge challenges of the pandemic.
Janet Wallsgrove Obe, Director of HMP & YOI Parc
Scoring ‘reasonably good’ for respect, HMIP observed that leaders aimed to create a sense of community and responsibility at Parc.

The report says that the specialist units ‘delivered excellent targeted support to a range of prisoners’. The Cynnwys unit, for example, which supports prisoners with neurodiverse needs such as autism ‘helped those who had struggled elsewhere in custody.’ 

Relationships between staff and prisoners ‘remained good’ and the peer worker roles available to prisoners were described as ‘often being meaningful, substantial and valued’ by them and staff.

Parc scored ‘reasonably good’ for rehabilitation and release planning. The support available to prisoners to maintain and develop relationships with family and friends was described as ‘excellent’; prisoners on the specialist family unit also gave ‘powerful personal testimonies about how they had been helped to rebuild personal relationships with parents, partners and children’.

Elsewhere, the report praises the ‘experienced, competent and visible’ senior teams which ‘supported innovation and creativity’ by setting up the specialist units. Inspectors also noted ‘excellent leadership from middle managers’.

The report did find areas of concern, including levels of recorded self-harm being too high and prisoners not receiving a timely assessment of their mental health needs and subsequent treatment.

Janet Wallsgrove OBE, Director of HMP & YOI Parc, said

“I’m extremely proud of my team and their achievements in getting our regime back up and running so quickly post the huge challenges of the pandemic. This is testament to their leadership, grit and teamwork across the board - the complexity of this challenge cannot be underestimated. I’m also really pleased that HMIP noted the really high standards at Parc and this is due to high aspirations that we collectively have. 

“HMIP also recognised the excellent education outcomes we help prisoners to achieve and the quality of teaching we provide; as well as the work we do on our specialist units for prisoners with specific needs who are not often catered for elsewhere. This is a fantastic set of achievements.

“We agree with all the areas that have been identified for further focus by HMIP and we have already implemented an action plan to reduce violence and self-harm. We will also work closely with our partner agencies to make improvements on joint recommendations.”