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Prisons: Standards

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL14042, tabled on 9 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that best practices and lessons learned are (1) shared, (2) adopted, and (3) maintained, among prisons.

Answered on

23 March 2021

Throughout the pandemic HMPPS has been identifying and sharing lessons learned. We have been listening to different perspectives and have paid attention to the challenges for staff and prisoners. We have considered the many examples of positive practice and have focussed our efforts to do the best for both staff and prisoners in very difficult circumstances. Learning lessons is an ongoing process and we continue to gather and share a range of information, including feedback from scrutiny bodies, staff, those in our care and the voluntary sector.

We are feeding what we have learned into prison safety and wellbeing initiatives, regime redesign, planning and ongoing mitigations for prisoners. Prisons are also using lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to prioritise resources to focus on safety and wellbeing, adapt provision, reinforce fair and decent behaviours and to show visible leadership. We are building on learning with a programme of events in the Spring which will be an opportunity for operational staff to share and reflect on learning from Covid to inform practice and both recovery and future reforms.

More routinely, bespoke service improvement and work developed in response to common issues uses best practice and lessons learned. This takes place through line management activity, between peers, and through central support such as the Prison Performance Support Programme.

HMPPS Scrutiny Intelligence unit routinely reviews all external scrutiny and internal assurance reports to draw out good practice and themes which are communicated to prisons and more widely across HMPPS. They also identify where lessons could be learned or implemented more effectively. Good practice and the areas requiring improvement are also reported each month to the Prison Performance Committee to ensure best practices and lessons learned are maintained among prisons.