Press release

Justice Secretary publishes action plan for HMP Nottingham

The Justice Secretary has today (14 February 2018) published a comprehensive action plan as part of his long-term commitment to transform HMP Nottingham.

  • immediate improvements made after ministers and inspectors demand action
  • prison improves mental health services, boosts anti-violence measures and repairs the estate
  • Justice Secretary makes clear there is more to be done, and will use this process to get the basics right at Nottingham and across the prison estate

Building on improvements made at the prison last year, care for the most vulnerable offenders will be dramatically improved, with NHS England supporting HMP Nottingham with an additional £200,000 to improve mental health services.

Specialist healthcare staff will now spend additional time with those most at risk of self-harm, and more detailed mental health assessments will be completed by trained professionals.

A local suicide prevention policy has also been launched, providing additional staff training in managing vulnerable offenders, and the prison will continue to work closely with the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman to make sure all recommendations on deaths in custody are implemented.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said:

I’ve been absolutely clear that conditions in some of our prisons are unacceptable, and I will not stand for them.

We’ve already taken immediate action to address failings identified by the Chief Inspector, but this action plan is only the beginning.

The most troubling and tragic of the problems at HMP Nottingham is the unacceptable level of self-harm and deaths. To address this, we have established a new suicide prevention policy, boosted the mental health assessment and referrals process, and got extra support from the NHS.

But we can’t stop there and I am committed to getting the basics right at Nottingham and across the estate. We must stop the drugs, violence and self-harm, and clean up our prisons so we can focus on making them safe and secure places for rehabilitation.

The plan also sets out how HMP Nottingham has:

  • carried out a full review of safety and violence, with body worn cameras now fully operational and staff receiving additional conflict resolution training
  • committed to recruiting 100 new officers to boost the prison’s frontline, as well as increasing mentoring for new recruits and less experienced staff
  • completed over 800 maintenance tasks, including repairing windows and damaged cells, with monthly inspections resulting in significant improvements to cleanliness

This action plan comes after ministers introduced the Urgent Notification process last year, meaning prisons that require urgent attention will have 28 days to introduce tough measures that will drive improvement. Last month, HMP Nottingham was issued with the first ever Urgent Notification by the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

Since then, the prison has taken wide-ranging action to address the concerns of the Chief Inspector, building on improvements already made prior to the Urgent Notification being issued.

Today’s action plan comes in advance of the final inspection report into HMP Nottingham, which is due to be published later this year.

Notes to editors

  • The Urgent Notification for HMP Nottingham was issued on 19 January, and was the first such notification issued to any prison in England and Wales.
  • The Secretary of State has 28 days to publicly report on action taken to resolve issues raised by inspectors.
  • More information on Urgent Notification can be found on GOV.UK.
  • For more info, please call the MOJ Press Office on 0203 334 3536.

Justice Secretary’s response and plan of action

Published 14 February 2018