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HM Inspectorate of Prisons: Report on HMP Greenock - February 2006



Security and Safety

3.1 There have been no escapes since the last inspection.

3.2 In 2004-05 there had been one serious prisoner-on-prisoner assault against a target of three. There were 37 minor prisoner-on-prisoner assaults in the same period. There had been three serious and twelve minor assaults in the period April 2005 to the time of inspection. There had been two serious prisoner-on-staff assaults against a target of one, and ten minor assaults in 2004-05. There had been no serious prisoner-on-staff assaults and six minor assaults between April 2005 and the time of inspection. There were no incidents of concerted indiscipline.

3.3 The prison continues to operate its Anti-Bullying Strategy when required.

3.4 There were no suicides in 2004-05 and none between April 2005 to the time of inspection. ACT documents were initiated on 173 occasions in 2004-05 and on 64 occasions from April to December 2005.

3.5 All sources of evidence agreed that relationships between staff and prisoners are very good. The SPS Prisoner Survey shows that 95% of prisoners rate relationships as " OK" or better: slightly lower than the SPS average. However, prisoner groups and individual prisoners regularly described the relationships as the best they had known in a Scottish prison.

Prisoner Complaints Procedure

3.6 Complaint procedure forms are available in residential areas. A sample of forms was viewed by inspectors. The answers given were reasonable and consistent. Timescales were met with only a few exceptions. Where there was a delay an interim reply was given.

3.7 Until recently complaint forms were recorded on a local database. This has now been superseded by the SPS Prisoner Records System ( PR2). However, not all CP's are being recorded on PR2. This should be addressed.

3.8 When a complaint has been through the system a copy of the paperwork is kept on file for reference, the original being retained by the prisoner. Overall, the Prisoner Complaints Procedure in Greenock is managed satisfactorily.

Prisoner Disciplinary System

3.9 Greenock averages ten reports each week under the disciplinary system, most of these coming from Ailsa Hall. This is not excessive for the size and function of the prison. Examination of a sample of reports and observation of Orderly Rooms, indicated that paperwork is completed satisfactorily and procedures followed. The Orderly Rooms take place in the halls, and the only observation here was that the room in Ailsa was cramped (but not oppressive). All operational members of the management team conduct Orderly Rooms, and given the number of people involved a formal monitoring system should be set up to ensure consistency.

Segregation Unit

3.10 Data collected by Greenock showed that the Segregation Unit was occupied on 192 of the 334 days between 1 January 2005 and 30 November 2005. On 86 of these days there had been more than one prisoner in the Unit and on three occasions all four cells had been occupied overnight.

Night Duty

3.11 The night shift consists of one manager and six officers. It was clear that the staff in contact with prisoners during the night knew their responsibilities and what action to take in an emergency. However, night shift instructions were not up to date. Some pages dated back to 1999 and others referred to the women prisoners who are no longer in the prison. Night shift instructions should be updated.

3.12 First aid equipment is located in each of the residential areas. Chrisswell House, which does not have a night shift patrol officer, is patrolled regularly. Prisoners in Chrisswell can contact the CCTV room by telephone in an emergency. The level of safety and security in Greenock during patrol periods is good.