30 January 2023
On Tuesday 31 January, the States of Jersey Prison Service (SoJPS) will welcome Dame
Anne Owers to Jersey to help mark an important occasion as part of modernising the prison.
As part of the two-day programme, Dame Anne will be the VIP in the renaming of the
residential wings at the prison as well as delivering a workshop on independent scrutiny of
Dame Anne is the current National Chair of the Independent Monitoring Boards and is a huge
advocate of independent scrutiny in closed institutions, which includes children’s homes, care
homes and prisons.
The residential units are being given names instead of alphanumeric reference as part of a
modernising programme and a move towards de-institutionalising the 1970’s built prison. The
units are being named after Jersey military personnel who served for Jersey with distinguished
service, in WWI and WWII. A member of staff worked with a local historian to identify potential
names. Prisoners have been working on the history of these individuals and will be presenting it
as part of the ceremony on Wednesday.
Although not an inspection, as part of her visit Dame Anne will look round all areas of the prison
and share her general observations with members of the senior management team.
Following on from the renaming ceremony, there will be a ceremonial unveiling of the new
administrative building by His Excellency Lieutenant Governor of Jersey.
At the request of the prison staff, the new building, which now houses all the administrative
functions of the prison, will be formally named the Len Norman building, after the former
Minister for Home Affairs. The family of Len Norman will be present for the unveiling.
The modern open plan building provides much improved working conditions for prison staff.
Collocation encourages more collaborative working which creates efficiencies and allows staff to
focus more time on working with prisoners. It also offers conferencing and hot desk facilities for
other Government departments and uses a biometric key system which improves security.
Prisoners attending the art programme are being given the opportunity to display their pieces
of work on the walls of the new building.
Prison Governor Susie Richardson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dame Anne to Jersey to
help us mark this important step forward in modernising the prison. We’re committed to
improve the living conditions of prisoners to reduce the risk of institutionalisation, which
improves their outcomes on release.
“We’ve made huge progress with the modernisation project and have two final phases planned
which will see us create a hospitality academy with accommodation for prisoners working
outside the prison and a multipurpose building to include training spaces, multifaith and new
care and separation unit.
“On completion Jersey will have a state-of-the-art prison, the infrastructure being funded mostly
out of Criminal Compensation funds.”
Also, as part of marking the occasion, a full staff photograph is being arranged to capture the
moment in time.