criminal justice
voluntary sector

Prison Management 2019

criminal justice

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:30

Thursday 12 September 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only

This Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to share strategies for raising prison standards and reducing growing rates of violence, self-harm, drug smuggling and drug use. Participants will hear from the Ministry of Justice and figures at the forefront of prison policy on accessing the recently announced £70 million of government funding that will support a number of different policies to tackle violence and improve security in prisons. In addition, best practice case studies will share guidance on reducing drug smuggling, effectively enhancing prison safety and tackling discrimination within prisons to improve prison management.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Crime and Voluntary Sectors. Typical job titles will include:

  • Chief Executive
  • Criminal Justice Operations Manager
  • Criminal Justice Adviser
  • Criminal Justice Programme Manager
  • Deputy-Governor
  • Director
  • Director of Youth Justice and Offender Policy
  • Governor
  • Head of Community Payback
  • Head of Criminal Justice & Custody
  • Head of Learning and Skills
  • Head of Policy
  • Head of Safety and Equalities
  • Head of Strategy
  • Senior Policy Advisor

This Forum is also open to the wider public sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Jerome Glass, Director of Strategy, Ministry of Justice
  • Frances Crook, Chief Executive, Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Anne Fox, Chief Executive, Clinks
  • Graham Atkins, Senior Researcher, Associate Director, Institute for Government
  • Jose Aguair, Educational Consultant, HMP Pentonville
View the agenda and additional speakers

Prison assault rates in the UK are at a record high, with a shocking 33,803 attacks by prisoners in the year leading up to September 2018, an increase of 20% in a year. A significant 68% of prisons are providing unsatisfactory standards and two in five prisons are deemed unsafe. As prisons become increasingly violent and unsafe, HMIP have admitted that they have ‘documented some of the most disturbing prison conditions we have ever seen’.

Spiralling levels of overcrowding, drug smuggling and recidivism across prisons has resulted in the biggest public call for prison reform in recent times. Reflecting growing concerns over prison quality, the 2017 Lammy Review called for a huge reform in the life of prisoners and highlighted the need for safer prisons focused on rehabilitation and support for vulnerable inmates, alongside calling for an independent review into discrimination of BAME individuals in the Criminal Justice System.

In August 2018, the government announced a new project which would tackle some of the main problems being faced in 10 of the UK’s most challenging prisons. Backed by £10 million of funding, the project aims to combat violent behaviour in prisons through tackling the smuggling of drugs into prisons, improving security and boosting leadership capabilities.

This is in addition to the £30 million package announced in July 2018, which includes £16 million pledged to tackle maintenance needs in estates and an additional £7 million to improve prison security, which includes the installation of X ray scanners and refurbished cells and shared areas. This coincided with the introduction of specialist search teams being hired into prisons to disrupt and deter violence in prisons.

Following on from this, the Prison Drugs Strategy was published in April 2019, which outlined the government’s commitment to a co-ordinated response to tackling the growing drug problem in prisons through restricting supply, reducing demands and building recovery abilities. In May 2019, a new Anti-Corruption specialist taskforce was also announced which will pursue corrupt activity in prisons by investigating and disrupting criminality.

This drive to improve prison security comes amid the recent riots at HMP Birmingham, where significant damage was caused to the prison estate and several injuries occurred. With the government taking control of the running of the prison to initiate a period of stabilization, the urgency of reform is clearer than ever.

With HMIP issuing warnings about the nationwide state of prison conditions, it is imperative that both prisons and the voluntary sector are working in partnership to raise the standards of UK prisons. This will require implementing effective strategies for rehabilitation and anti-discrimination, improving the quality of security to minimize violence and drug smuggling and transforming prison design to demonstrate quality levels of prison management and excel at inspection. 


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Professor Jane Hurry, Head of Centre, Centre for Education in the Criminal Justice System, University College London (UCL) (invited)


Morning Keynote: Examining the Government's Commitment to Improve the Quality of UK Prisons

  • Outlining the government’s commitment of £70 million to bring UK prisons up to standard and sharing how this funding with be distributed
  • Sharing preliminary findings from the 10 Prisons Project and the impact that initiatives such as training staff to better manage prisoner behaviour has had on overall prison security and violence
  • Understanding the new Prison Drugs Strategy and how this will be implemented in prisons nationwide through restricting supply, reducing demands and building recovery
  • Gaining an insight into the development of the anti-corruption taskforce and how this will work in practice to disrupt violence in prisons
  • Discussing the government’s plans to to replace old and expensive accommodation in prisons with 10,000 modern and safe spaces and how this will drive nationwide prison standards
  • Considering the next steps to be taken to improve the quality of UK prisons, including trialling new security technology and alternative design at five prisons nationwide

Jerome Glass, Director of Strategy, Ministry of Justice (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Inspecting the Quality of Prisons - Areas for Improvement

  • Releasing the Prison Drugs Strategy in April 2019, which aims to coordinate action to limit the supply of drugs circulating in prisons whilst offering effective treatment 
  • Driving forward the Drugs Taskforce, which drives action across the prison estate to tackle prison drugs, such as psychoactive substances, and drug gangs within prisons
  • Publishing the 2018 National Partnership Agreement, which drives forward a partnership with police and the NHS to strengthen drug misuse services in prisons by building evidence and trialing new technology
  • Implementing the Ten Prisons Project, which included £6 million of funding to fight drug entry and use within ten prisons via investment in drug-detection dogs, improved perimeter control and more advanced body scanners
  • Building on the Drug Recovery Prison pilot to tackle drug misuse across a wider range of prisons and ensure that the pilot informs future strategies across prison estates

Richard Pickering, Deputy Director – Drugs Taskforce, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (invited)


Case Study: Enhancing Safety and Rehabilitation for Female Prisoners

  • Outlining the landscape for women’s imprisonment in the UK, which has one of the highest rates of women’s imprisonment in Western Europe
  • Highlighting the need to enhance support for women in prisons, with 57% of women entering prison having experienced domestic violence and 65% of women needing support for a drug prison upon entry, compared to 37% of men
  • Discussing the causes for the 68% of women being recalled to custody following their release since 2014 and how prisons can facilitate better rehabilitation programmes for women
  • Gaining an insight into some of the initiatives carried out by the Women’s Trust to support women in prison, such as the CARE programme, which consists of a series of group sessions and one to one meetings held in prisons for female prisoners who have a history of violence
  • Outlining the role of the voluntary sector in working in partnership with prisons to provide systems of support for vulnerable inmates

Yvonne Roberts, Chair, Women in Prison (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Providing an Insight into Britain’s First ‘Drug Recovery Prison’

  • Implementing a £9 million ‘recovery prison’ at HMP Holme House, which aims to restrict drugs supply, reduce consumption and tackle addiction
  • Sharing how new body scanner technology and a dedicated drug search team have reduced the entry of drugs such as ‘Spice’ into the prison
  • Outlining how dedicated drug-reduction staff, including specialist psychologists, have helped prisoners to transition towards more positive mindsets
  • Implementing community councils within the prison to enable feedback-led service user forums
  • Working with charity Change Grow Live to implement a ‘Connecting Communities’ approach to successfully bridge the gap between prisons and local areas
  • Providing drug treatment appointments, accommodation, financial advice and aiding family engagement to achieve a life beyond drugs

Chris Dyer, Governor, HMP Holme House (invited)


Case Study: Establishing Strong Staff-Inmate Relationships to Embed a Rehabilitative Culture Within a Prison

  • Outlining how developing strong relationships between staff and inmates contributed to HMP Warren Hill being rated as the best prison in the country by HMPPS
  • Discussing how the prison was praised for personal development and low levels of violence and how this was achieved by embedding a rehabilitative culture and principles of normality into routine prison life
  • Examining how communication can be used as a tool for risk management, encouraging principles of normality and a rehabilitative culture, for example by referring to inmates as ‘residents’ and renaming cells as ‘rooms’
  • Ensuring inmates are well prepared for parole, for example by providing a rich arts and cultural programme and providing excellent work and education opportunities, resulting in 105 of 130 inmates being granted early release after meeting the parole board

Sonia Walsh, Governor, HMP Warren Hill (invited)


Case Study: Enhancing Prison Standards - 10 Prisons Project Perspective

  • Outlining new initiatives piloted in HMP Isis through the 10 Prisons Project, including the introduction of specialist staff and teams alongside a drugs strategy manager, and a diagnostic visit for the prison to identify the causes of violence and drug smuggling and how to tackle them
  • Trialling new devices which identify chemical traces for a range of drugs, including Spice, and can detect mobile phones smuggled in via visitor’s bodies
  • Highlighting the impact so far of enhanced drug security checks, such as the number of prisoners testing positive for drugs test halving within a year
  • Introducing more training programmes and projects for inmates to learn new skills and trades, such as cooking and meditation classes, boosting inmate morale and opportunities to enrol on work programmes upon release

Emily Thomas, Governor, HMP Isis (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Providing Safe and Secure Prisons - Effective Strategies to Reduce Violence

  • How has spending on prisons changed since 2010?
  • What has this meant for performance and efficiency?
  • How do prisons compare to other public services?

Graham Atkins, Senior Researcher, Institute for Government (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Tackling Staffing Challenges within the Prison System to Improve Prison Standards

  • Highlighting the importance of strong and effective leadership in ensuring high prison standards and delivering an environment that is conducive to effective rehabilitation
  • Discussing the key issues facing prison staffing at the mid to senior levels of management, including ensuring that leaders have sufficient experience and dealing with low staff retention due to worsening conditions
  • Addressing the concern of falling prison staff recruitment and retention, and highlighting the correlation between growing violence and reduced staff numbers
  • What steps can be taken to approach staffing challenges and consequently improve the quality of the UK’s prisons?
  • Sharing best practice in effectively training staff to facilitate conferences for prisoners involved in fights, to discuss and resolve their issues 

Frances Crook, Chief Executive, Howard League for Penal Reform (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Role of the Voluntary Sector in Improving Prison Standards

  • Highlighting the important role that the voluntary sector can play in improving prison standards and the importance of working in partnership to find solutions to challenges faced in prisons
  • Gaining an insight into how better coordination of voluntary organisation provision in prisons results in improved safety, more effective rehabilitation and enhanced prisoner access to voluntary sector support
  • Examining the model of voluntary sector coordination which resulted from the pilot project in three prisons and how this can be implemented in practice
  • Sharing recommendations for prisons to harness the potential of the voluntary sector, including having a single point of contact to co-ordinate voluntary sector engagement and ensuring opportunities for prisoners to engage in the sector are supported at senior level
  • Offering recommendations for the voluntary sector, including facilitating positive partnership working, developing effective referral pathways and prioritising the needs of service users

Anne Fox, Chief Executive, Clinks (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Deploying Alternative Forms of Teaching to Provide Award-Winning Prisoner Education

  • Setting up the Linked-Up initiative in partnership with London Shakespeare Workout and HMP Pentonville in association with UK drama & music schools
  • Providing an alternative to conventional education: creating meaningful prison interaction with as many performance arts academy students as possible to offer inmates an opportunity to share in an enhanced dramatic experience
  • Using a 12 week in-house drama programme that includes the creation of a radio programme for National Prison Radio to promote emotional intelligence and self-confidence
  • Developing programmes such as Learning Together to provide the space to co-construct learning opportunities that meet the needs of all students, regardless of their context

Jose Aguair, Educational Consultant, HMP Pentonville (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Facilitating Rapid Prison-Wide Improvement to Excel at Inspection

  • Examining how Maghaberry Prison improved from being deemed ‘unsafe, unstable and disrespectful’ to being deemed as one of the best of its kind during inspection
  • Highlighting the importance of strong leadership in driving prison-wide improvement and supporting staff to provide a safe and rehabilitative environment
  • Considering the challenges of holding high risk prisoners, including paramilitaries, and sharing guidance on how to successfully manage a potentially challenging environment
  • Discussing how the prison intends to make the progress needed to protect vulnerable prisoners and ensure there are effective support systems in place, such as through building a ‘safer cell unit’
  • Sharing the prison’s plans to build a new wing designed in the shape of an X to provide good sight lines for staff and reduce the number of prison officers needed

David Kennedy, Governor, HMP Maghaberry (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

You May Also Like