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La Moye is a ‘good prison’ and gets top marks for safety by HM Chief Inspectors

27 February 2018

La Moye prison has been described as a 'good prison' and received the highest ratings for safety by HM Chief Inspectors, who undertake independent inspections across the UK. 

 The HM Chief Inspectors' report of La Moye, released on 27 February reveals a positive picture of the prison, particularly in two areas, which have improved since the last report four years ago.

The HMCI report concluded that it was a "good report on a good prison" and described La Moye as a 'safe prison with low levels of violence' with professional officers who were respected by prisoners.

However the prison did come in for some criticism in the area of purposeful activity which the prison governor of La Moye has defended.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons

Meanwhile Jersey's Home Affairs Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, has welcomed this as an overall 'good report' for La Moye prison, particularly after recent reports, in the UK, claimed that two-in-five jails in Britain are 'unacceptably unsafe' with one prison described as "squalid with rats and cockroaches".

La Moye Prison was inspected by HM Inspectorate of Prisons between 11 - 22 September 2017.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, said "The survey we conducted was extremely positive in this area and many prisoners told us that safety was one of the most positive features of the prison. Prisoners' cells were among the best we have seen and the standards of cleanliness were impressive. Most notable was the professionalism of the officers working at the prison. The governor and ministers had provided consistency in leadership and funding which meant that prison staff were provided with good-quality continuous professional development. Most prisoners expressed appreciation for the treatment and support they received from officers, who were enthusiastic, committed and proud in their roles."

Purposeful Activity

The framework for inspecting learning and skills has moved on significantly since the last inspection of La Moye in 2013 and prisons are now expected to prioritise activities that are likely to increase the employability of the prisoners they release into the community. This area, called purposeful activity, saw a decline in ratings for La Moye prison.

Mr Clarke added "Our report acknowledges the quality of the activities that were available to prisoners and praises the well-trained, experienced and motivated education, skills and work staff. However, the fundamental failing was the lack of sufficient education, skills and work provision that prisoners needed to prepare them for employment, training or education on release."

"To conclude, this is a good report on a good prison. Progress has been made in the two critical areas which provide the foundations of rehabilitation. We are confident that, under the direction of the governor, the competent and committed learning and skills team will take on board our criticisms of the current provision and use their experience and knowledge to drive the improvements needed."

Prison professionalism praised

Responding to the report La Moye Prison Governor, Bill Millar, said "I am pleased that the excellent work done by my management team and staff has been recognised and placed on public record in a very good report from HMCIP.

"The consistency in leadership from the Minister to the Governor was praised as well as the professionalism by the officers. The prisoner's responses in the surveys were also extremely positive expressing their appreciation for the treatment and support they receive from officers."

Responding to the decline in ratings for purposeful activities Mr Millar said: "The overall rating given is difficult to understand as most of the comments in the report are positive. The inspection team judged the range of vocational qualifications, quality of learning and skills, including teaching, training, learning and assessment to be good. The achievements of prisoners engaged in learning and skills work was judged to be good. The main criticism was in regard to the level of qualifications a prisoner could achieve and whether the prison was doing enough to prepare prisoners for employment on release. Our record in this regard is extremely good and consequently, the final rating in this area seems unjustified.

That said, I do accept that there is still a need for further improvements and work is ongoing to address the recommendations made."

Highest ratings for Safety and Respect

The Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Kristina Moore, added "I wish to congratulate the Prison Governor and his staff for achieving the standards they have now reached. La Moye prison has been given the highest ratings in the areas of Safety and Respect with very low levels of violence and prisoners feeling safe.

"We have heard reports from the UK recently about some of the appalling conditions in one prison in the UK and two-in-five jails described as 'unsafe' so this report of La Moye prison in Jersey should be seen as a positive one. There are areas that need further work and we will now consider the Chief Inspector's recommendations very carefully but Jersey has a good prison service that the Island can be proud of."

Report on La Moye Prison by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

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