Susie Richardson said that due to staffing issues, each wing currently had one restricted day per week when inmates spent ‘extra hours’ in their cells. But she sought to reassure Islanders that this was not negatively affecting prisoners’ rehabilitation.
Mrs Richardson said that her team was ‘doing all they can’ to ensure the ‘best outcomes’ for prisoners.
‘Our staff are working really hard and many have done, or are doing, overtime hours.
‘We are currently running a recruitment campaign to fill our vacancies and we are looking at how we manage our resources to ensure that they are being used effectively and to the full benefit of prisoners,’ she said.
‘Each wing in the prison has one restricted day per week where movement on and off the wing is limited and people spend extra hours in their cell. Inmates who have jobs inside the prison can still work and we have moved some of their activities so that they do not clash with their restricted day.
‘Prisoners still get the opportunity to exercise in the open twice a day and have their usual meal times. We have increased access to educational materials when in their cell to help ensure their rehabilitation is not being affected.
‘We also have bespoke individual programmes in place to ensure that anyone who is at risk of a mental-health breakdown due to more time in their cell is specifically catered for,’ she added.
Mrs Richardson said the prison was continuing to provide educational programmes for inmates but part of their new reoffending strategy would be to better target ‘the needs of prisoners and the Island’.
‘Opportunities for offenders need to be led by needs rather than wants,’ she said. ‘We must better understand what the Island needs from prisoners when they are released and that is exactly why we are working to create this joint approach, which hopes to make the metaphorical fence and stigma around the prison invisible,’ she said.
Earlier this month, prison officers and staff held a private event with members of government and different sectors to outline their vision for a strategy to reduce reoffending rates. Mrs Richardson said that various industries had ‘already shown a lot of enthusiasm towards our ideas’.
She added: ‘Our message is that reducing reoffending and working together is the right thing for the Island and a resettled prisoner is a benefit to society,’ she added.’