HMP Thameside and Ashfield receive IMB Reports

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) recently published Annual Reports on both HMP Thameside and HMP Ashfield.

Both reports highlight several key findings in the regimes as well as acknowledging the difficulty both prisons have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reports also highlight the key differences between the two prisons, most notably with their different categories. HMP Thameside, a category B remand prison is described by the IMB as doing “Broadly effective work to maintain safety for all prisoners, given the challenges that are posed by the high number with complex mental health needs, vulnerability and substance misuse issues, gang memberships and a cohort who violently challenge and disrupt prison life”.

HMP Ashfield, a category C specialist training and treatment prison for convicted prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences was told by the IMB that “The Director, managers and staff are to be highly commended for maintaining the high standards for the prisoners”

The IMB also noted Ashfield’s low levels of violence, increased support to those having difficulties coping in prison (particularly during lockdown) and accommodation and catering, which continue to be of a high standard.

Whilst at Thameside, the IMB took notice of the prison’s range of programmes and initiatives to help prisoners prepare for release.  They highlighted the library, as being part of a varied and popular programme of enrichment organised by the committed and enthusiastic librarian and his staff, and the good work being carried out by the Families First team, which offers a variety of ways for prisoners to stay in touch with their families.