Action plan drawn up to help reduce levels of violence at Norwich jail

The 'B Wing' of Norwich Prison. Pic: Keiron Tovell.

The 'B Wing' of Norwich Prison. Pic: Keiron Tovell. - Credit: Archant Eastern Daily Press

A senior manager will be appointed to help reduce levels of violence at Norwich Prison.

A head of violence reduction will be appointed at the Knox Road jail as part of a “robust and effective” system to reduce levels of violence throughout the prison.

It is one of a number of measures being brought in as part of an action plan drawn up by the prison service and Ministry of Justice.

The action plan follows an unannounced inspection of the jail late last year.Following the inspection, between October and November, the prison was found to be “not sufficiently good” in terms of safety, respect, purposeful activity and rehabilitation and release planning.It had been assessed as being reasonably good in these areas following a 2016 report and the deterioration has concerned inspectors.Inspectors found levels of recorded violence at Norwich had increased although there were comparably fewer serious incidents.There had been concerns that work to reduce violence at the prison was insufficient and poorly co-ordinated.But it is hoped that the appointment of a dedicated manager to help reduce violence will help change things.A senior manager is also to be appointed to help reduce levels of self-harm at the jail.It follows six self-inflicted deaths between the most recent inspection and the previous visit.But it is hoped the appointment of a dedicated manager as well as the introduction of a new local suicide and self-harm reduction policy will help to bring improvements.Other measures include improving confidence in the investigation of complaints against staff by ensuring that the deputy governor oversees all such complaints.Following last year’s inspection Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said while the complexity of the prison, which holds just under 700 male inmates, brought “not insignificant management challenges”, the combination of facilities ought to offer real opportunities to help prisoners progress through their sentence to the point of resettlement.He said: “Our findings suggested that the prison still had some way to go before such a vision could be fully realised.”

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