Guernsey Prison serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the Courts. The Prison has clear objectives keeping within the Prison Statement of Purpose and vision. The prison shares a set of common values with the Committee for Home Affairs. These values are; Quality, Integrity, Innovation, Efficiency and Professionalism.
The Prison Governor, Dave Matthews, is responsible for the Prison, under the Prison (Guernsey) Ordinance 2013 and Prison (Guernsey) Regulations 2013 which sets out legislation. The prison works within expectations as set out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). Guernsey Prison is regularly visited by the Independent Monitoring Panel (IMP).
Being the only prison on the Island, the facility must be equipped to hold remand and sentenced prisoners, males, females, young offenders, children and vulnerable prisoners with varying security categories, offences and sentence lengths.
The prison has accommodation to house a maximum of 134 prisoners. Since January 2013 the prison has been smoke-free. In July 2014 all cells were equipped with in-cell telephony. Guernsey Prison is a working prison and is committed to ensuring that all prisoners have jobs within the prison.
The Prison provides primary care services for prisoners, which includes initial health screens and assessments on arrival at the Prison, other healthcare services are provided in conjunction with external agencies.
When a prisoner comes into the prison they will have an induction on their first night, this is given by 'Listener Prisoners'. The aim of this induction is to provide prisoners with necessary information and to help alleviate any fears they may have about coming into custody. As well as the induction process, there is additional support available in the Prison from various agencies and volunteers. Prisoners can also be selected to be a voice as Diversity Representatives and Prisoner Consultation Committee Meeting representatives.
Keeping in touch with the outside world is very important when in prison and prisoners are able to do so by various means of communications. For further information please refer to Keeping in touch and Visiting the prison.
The Regimes department are responsible for providing Work, Education and Faith. The prison charity; Creative Learning in Prison (CLIP), was set up to allow for creative learning which would not be funded by normal revenues.
The Offender Management Unit (OMU), are responsible for sentence plans, offending behaviour programme delivery, resettlement needs, Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), restorative justice, family and social support initiatives, and the Foreign National Support Group. Also located within the OMU department are the Prison Psychotherapist, Substance Misuse Worker (SMW) and the Resettlement Officer.
The Residential Department, are responsible for the first night process for new prisoners, personal officers, the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) Scheme, and safer custody and violence reduction.
Security Department, collate, analyse and evaluate all security intelligence, however received, and then distribute information and required actions to appropriate areas or individuals.
The Works Department provides technical services to support the Prison infrastructure and an integral part of that department is the Health and Safety team that ensures the prison is a safe and healthy environment for staff, visitors and prisoners.
The Administration Department is responsible for providing an efficient and supportive service to all other departments. The team works with all staff to produce a wide range of administrative tasks.
There is a Prison Shop where prisoners can purchase products such as snacks, craft items, toiletries, stamps, phone credit, and e-cigarettes. Prisoners may also order clothing, DVDs, books, games, newspapers and magazines by way of application. Prisoner spends are dependent on their level in the Incentive and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme.
Working for the Prison is fun and challenging. There's great job satisfaction that comes from knowing that you can make a difference both for prisoners and the community.
VISION AND MISSION
- Prison Vision:
- - We ensure public protection and commit to reduce re-offending.
- Prison Mission:
- We provide a safe and secure environment that enables prisoners to address the causes of offending behaviour and provide them with values, skills and experience to take a positive role in the community upon release.
INDUCTION, NEW RECEPTIONS AND THE FIRST NIGHT PROCEDURE
- Guernsey Prison's 'Reception, First Night and Induction Policy' aims to reassure prisoners on initial reception, and provide a safe and caring environment to deal with immediate concerns and needs, in order to help them integrate into Prison life as swiftly and as easily as possible.
- The Prison aims to ensure that all prisoners are equipped to cope with the recognised stresses of coming into Prison and are able to cope with the subsequent stages of their time in custody. Extra support will be offered to any prisoner who is experiencing a time of crisis or is at risk of self-harm or suicide. It is fully understood that each person coming into custody for the first time will have a great deal of information to absorb at a time when they are likely to be under great stress. It is recognised that it would be unlikely for a new prisoner to remember everything they are told during the Reception and First Night Process. Therefore, one of the main objectives of the policy is to identify the elements of Prison life that will be of vital importance to the new prisoner from the moment they enter Guernsey Prison.
- The reception processes for all prisoners are carried out by the Prison Court Officers before they leave Court. When prisoners arrive in the prison, they are located in a first night cell which is suitably equipped for first night use, including tea bags, sugar and powdered milk. A laminated instruction sheet is fixed to the notice board detailing emergency procedures for fire, medical emergencies, use of cell call, availability of a Samaritans phone, and other vital information. Also one application form and one visits booking form will be kept in the first night cells.
- A new prisoner will be expected to sign a compact; this is signed by an officer as well as the prisoner to ensure both parties are aware of what's expected of the other. This compact will inform the prisoner of accepted behaviours throughout their time in prison.
- Each prisoner will be allocated a Primary and Secondary Personal Officer who will likely remain the same throughout their time in prison unless a prisoner requests a change in one or both personal officers. These Officers will make regular contact to ensure that they have the advice and support that they need. There are a number of prisoners who represent their fellow prisoners in groups such as Diversity, Foreign National Support Group, and at the Prisoner Consultation Committee Meeting. Prisoners are able to raise issues with these prisoners for communication to Prison management.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
- Being able to stay in touch with family and friends is an important part of the rehabilitation process for prisoners and is an effective way of reducing the likelihood of re-offending.
- Prisoners may communicate with their family and friends through, phone calls, letters and organised visits. Families may also use the email a prisoner facility to contact them.
- Prisoners are entitled to a number of visits sessions per week, according to their IEP level. These may include children's visits and supervised contact sessions, which may take place in The Cabin which is specific for families with young children. The Cabin is a special purpose built unit used as a Family Centre and is used for supervised contact to allow prisoners to spend time with their children, family and couple therapy, parenting classes, and parent forums.
- Prisoners may write letters to their loved ones, and if they wish, purchase greetings cards for special occasions. Prisoners are also able to communicate with advocates free of charge.
- What to do if a friend or relative is in Prison
- Keeping in touch with the outside world is very important when someone is in Prison. The Guernsey Prison Service staff are available to give advice and assistance on how prisoners can maintain communication with their family and friends, recognising the difficulties that this may pose for non-local prisoners who do not normally live in Guernsey.
- The Guernsey Prison Service has a purpose built visits centre that can accommodate twenty three prisoners and their visitors at any one visits session. The main visits room is bright and airy with separate facilities for disabled access and toilets for both visitors and prisoners. There is a café which sells hot and cold drinks and snacks during the visit sessions.
AGENCIES AND VOLUNTEERS
- A number of agencies and volunteer groups work within the Prison to support prisoners and their families, and assist with their resettlement.
- Some of the agencies working in the Prison include:
- - The College of Further Education
- - Homestart
- - Just Dads
- - Drug Concern
- - Youth Service (Duke of Edinburgh)
- Some of the volunteer groups working in the Prison include:
- - Samaritans
- - Caritas
- - Alcoholics Anonymous
- - Caring for Ex-offenders
- - Guernsey Bereavement
- - Mothers Union
- - Prison fellowship Group/Chaplaincy
MONEY AND PRISON SHOP
- Prisoners earn money for attending purposeful activity sessions which include; work, educational sessions, offending behaviour programmes, and other courses. Prisoners may have a maximum of £50 money handed in to them or sent a cheque or postal order to the Prison. While there is no limit on the amount a cheque or postal order can be for, it will be kept in a clearing account for two weeks. A prisoner's cash account cannot exceed £500.
- Prisoners have a weekly spend limit applied to their cash accounts. The weekly spend limit depends on their current IEP level, which encourages prisoners to engage with the prison regime and sentence plan targets.
- Prisoners are able to save from their weekly allowance into a savings account which will allow them to purchase more expensive items from the available catalogues.
VISITING THE PRISON
- There are some things that you must be aware of before coming into Guernsey Prison.
- - You must be booked in for a social visit by the prisoner.
- - You must bring photographic identification i.e. passport, drivers licence. ID with address.
- - You are not permitted to bring any smoking materials into the Prison, this includes e-cigarettes. Lockers are provided.
- - You are not permitted to bring in any item with the facility to take a photograph. This includes mobile phones, laptops, iPads, iPods etc. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
- - You must not bring with you sharp items
- - Should you bring in drugs of any sort the police will be contacted.
- - If coming in for prison Visits you may bring a maximum of £5 to be spend in the café on refreshments. Only you will be permitted to go to the shop to buy Items
- - You must arrive to your visit at least 15 minutes before the visit start time. If you arrive late you may be turned away.
- - Expect to be searched when entering the prison or visits area.
- - Only Items during the first week that the prisoner has been in prison can be accepted and this must be brought with you to be handed in. Items will not be permitted at any other time.
- - Visiting with children, you are responsible for the children's behaviour
- - Only three adults plus children are permitted on a visit.
- If you are unsure of anything or something seems unclear to you then contact the prison before your visit. Brining in an illicit item is a criminal offence.
- A career in the Prison Service offers variety and challenges; it gives you the opportunity to give something back to the community and allows you to make a difference.
- When joining the Prison Service all officers are required to complete a seven week Prison Officer Entry Level Training (POELT) course in the prison. All new officers are enrolled in the Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Custodial Care and are required to complete a twelve month probationary period.
- Non-Uniformed Staff/Civil Servant posts are advertised on the gov.gg site, in the Guernsey Press and on various social media outlets.
- The Prison is involved in the yearly Careers Show held at Beau Sejour, if you want more information on applying for an Officer role please contact the Training Manager.