A north Nottinghamshire prison has seen clear improvement over the last three years after it was put in a ‘state of crisis’.
HMP Ranby, which is a large training and resettlement prison holding around 1,000 men in north Nottinghamshire, had clearly improved from a drug-fuelled “state of crisis’ three years ago, inspectors found in their most recent visit.
The assessment of the jail in 2015 was that it suffered from poor safety and was “in danger of being overwhelmed by illegal drugs.”
Three years on, in June 2018, according to Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, drugs remained a problem but “our findings were much more encouraging. It was clear to us that a significant amount of work had been undertaken to improve the establishment across a range of issues.
The assessment of safety had risen one level from ‘poor’, the lowest assessment, to “not sufficiently good.”
Mr Clarke said safety had remained insufficient despite “the very considerable initiative on the part of managers and staff to try to make the prison safer.”
Mr Clarke said: “HMP Ranby had proven to be a difficult prison to run and still had many problems to fix. The key priority remained undoubtedly the continuing battle against drugs, which undermined everything.
“But that was not the whole picture. The prison was well led by a competent and effective governor, supported by a capable senior team and staff group.
“We observed much good practice, and an openness to innovative ideas as well as an attention to detail.
“The governor had sought to attend to getting the basics right and in our view the prison had unquestionably improved.”
Michael Spurr, chief executive of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, said: “I’m pleased that the Chief Inspector has highlighted the improvements achieved at Ranby, which are a credit to the Governor and his staff.
“There remains more to do and we are taking firm action to reduce drug use and violence, particularly through improved detection, searching and perimeter security.
“Ranby is one of 10 prisons receiving additional funding to tackle violence and this will enable progress to accelerate over the next 12 months.”
The prison was also assessed as “not sufficiently good” for its rehabilitation and resettlement work. However, in the areas of respect and purposeful activity, including training and education, it was found to be reasonably good.
Mr Clarke said the prison had “a very good understanding of the challenges it faced.”