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HM Inspectorate of Prisons: Report on HMP Perth




Appropriate steps are taken to ensure that prisoners are reintegrated safely into the community and where possible into a situation less likely to lead to further crime.

9.1 The Integrated Case Management and risk management processes work very well. A number of accredited and approved offending behaviour programmes are available to adult prisoners. There are excellent links with community based organisations.

Integrated Case Management

9.2 Perth operates both Standard and Enhanced Integrated Case Management ( ICM) procedures. Standard procedures allow for prisoners serving four years or less to have their needs assessed and a Community Integration Plan developed. The enhanced procedures allow for all prisoners serving sentences over four years and all sex offenders serving six months or more to participate in multi-disciplinary meetings to review risk and needs and develop strategies to reduce the risk of re-offending and risk of harm on release.

9.3 There is an average of 27 case conferences per month. A dedicated team of a manager, two co-ordinators and administrative support ensures that the establishment meets its target for case conferences occurring within timescales. However, there is sometimes a conflict between targets and quality: for example, inspectors observed a case conference taking place without the prisoner present due to him being detained in hospital. A previous case conference was postponed for the same reason.

9.4 A personal officer scheme operates in Friarton hall, 'C' hall levels 3 & 4 and 'A' hall levels 3 & 4. Gallery officers fulfil the role in other areas. Case conferences are chaired by a co-ordinator and there is good attendance by Criminal Justice Social Work. Families are rarely in attendance. Staff have provided information sessions for families in the visitor centre but this has still not resulted in an improvement in attendance. Further initiatives should be tried to increase family involvement in case conferences.

9.5 Twenty staff have been trained as ICM assessors. They do not do risk assessments in partnership with prison based social workers although there is collaboration prior to submission of the final report. An ICM steering group chaired by the Deputy Governor and attended by prison based social workers, psychologists and the ICM manager and co-ordinators meets monthly. This ensures that any problems with the process are addressed quickly.

9.6 There is a close link between ICM and the establishment's Multi-Disciplinary Progression Management Group ( MDPMG). The MDPMG assesses prisoners' eligibility for transfer to the top end or the Open Estate. Consideration should be given to putting all risk management processes within ICM.

9.7 The identification and management of risk is operating well and there is effective monitoring of the processes in place.

Interventions to Address Offending Behaviour

9.8 Programmes to address offending behaviour are delivered in the new regimes building, and the facilities are very good. The staff complement is six officers, managed by the Head of Programmes and Psychology.

9.9 Delivery of programmes is multi-disciplinary with input from officers and psychology. The officers are trained to deliver three programmes each.

9.10 The targets for programme delivery for 2010 are:

Accredited Programmes
Constructs 28
Substance related offending behaviour 10

C.A.R.E. (controlling anger and regulating emotions) 21

Approved Activities
Alcohol awareness 40
First Steps (addictions) 16

9.11 If a prisoner is assessed as requiring a violence prevention or sex offender programmes he will be transferred to a prison which runs these.

9.12 Prisoners at Friarton do not access programmes as their needs should have been met at Polmont prior to transfer.

9.13 There are waiting lists for some programmes: for example there were 97 prisoners waiting to take part in Constructs. These waiting lists should be reduced, and assessed needs met.

9.14 The Head of Programmes and Psychology is conducting research into delivering interventions for difficult prisoners who occupy segregation units for lengthy periods. There are also intense one-to-one interventions and cognitive behavioural therapies available when a prisoner is assessed as suitable for this kind of intervention. This is an area of good practice.

Partner Organisations

9.15 The prison has well established links with community based organisations. Some are contractual such as with Phoenix Futures and Carnegie College, and some are through a Service Level Agreement such as with Perth and Kinross Social Work Department. Good links with voluntary organisations have also been established. A Prison Community Integration Group is developing a set of protocols to address Employment, Housing, Addiction and Health issues with partners in the community.

Preparation for Release

9.16 The main focus in terms of preparation for release is to ensure that every prisoner has some form of accommodation on release. Protocols are in place with Perth, Dundee and Angus Councils to assist with any housing issues. Debt Finance advice is delivered by Jobcentre Plus.