It is so pleasing to hear that our input to recent Police and Prison training programmes is proving to be beneficial. We have received some positive feedback from the Police training college, where Kirsty Johnson has included our approach to working with offenders in her training of new Police Community Service Officers. Kirsty first heard us talking to Sergeants and Inspectors at the college earlier in the year, when we spoke at the request of Inspector Kate Jowett, who was involved in a staff development course.
Then we see in the Prison Ministers comments on progress at HMP Leeds (where we are based) that he believes one of the reasons for “prisoner / staff relationships” improving is due to some recent staff training we have been involved in. Fortunately the training of both new and existing staff he is referring to took place in our office block, and so very convenient as well as much needed. It allowed us to offer a balanced view on the need for both security and rehabilitation and to emphasise how building professional relationships with prisoners is key to maintaining order and control in an environment where you can regularly be working one officer to 40 prisoners. We also shared just how this can be translated in to actions on the wings, by officers often faced with difficult and complex situations.
Inner city Victorian Category B prisons like HMP Leeds are some of the most difficult prisons to manage, as the churn of prisoners rarely allows for a period of calm. Constantly receiving “chaotic” people straight from the courts, whether sentenced or remanded, brings with it a whole host of problems that other prisons (who receive the prisoners further on in their journey and usually more settled) don’t have to contend with.
If through our input to the staff training we can help to improve the staff / prisoner relationship and in turn see less incidents, then happy days! As former officers at Leeds ourselves it is a privilege to be able to help.