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  • Health & Social Care
  • Management & Leadership

Prison Safety and Reform: Restoring Stability, Transforming Lives

  • Tuesday, 27 June 2017
  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • 08:30 - 16:30
  • Overview

The Prisons Safety and Reform White Paper sets out the government proposals to invest £1.3bn in new prisons over the next five years and plans for over 2,100 extra officers to be in place by 2018 at a cost of £104m a year. Our conference agenda will explore how stability to prisons can be restored through improved safety and security, developing and recruiting staff and empowering prison governors and leaders.

There is a growing crisis in the prison service. Official figures from the Ministry of Justice show a new high of 65 assaults in jails every day. Assaults on prison staff have risen to their highest level on record with 5,954 assaults in the year to June, an increase of 43%. 697 of these cases were recorded as serious. Self-inflicted deaths had risen by 28% and in the same period 321 people died in prison custody, an increase of 30%. Staff shortages, out-of-date prison facilities and rise in the number of prisoners have led to a system that is under sustained and serious pressure. These stark figures lay bare the urgent need for prison reform.

A key focus of the white paper reforms is offering frontline officers more support by boosting staffing levels to make prisons safe and more secure. Staff and leaders will be supported to develop their skills helping to resolve tension before violence breaks out, carry out searches for weapons and drugs, and building mentor relationships with offenders. An ambitious £1.3bn prison building programme will see 10,000 places created in modern, efficient facilities and the worst performing jails to be closed. Alongside improved working conditions plans aim to give governors and leaders more flexibility and greater autonomy to reform institutions and improve outcomes for offenders. From April 2017 governors will be able to choose behavioural programmes, commission healthcare service jointly with NHS managers and gain control of education budgets.

Prison Safety and Reform: Restoring Stability, Transforming Lives will explore how to implement the proposals for prison reform and help drive forward improvements in prison and supporting services. The challenge of transforming lives and creating purposeful centres of reform requires a huge structural and cultural change, this conference agenda will support those working within and supporting the prison system to raise standards and make our prisons places of safety and reform.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, has warned that jails had become “unacceptably violent and dangerous places”. Rates of violence and self-harm have increased significantly in recent years, with assaults on prison staff increasing by 43% over twelve months and self-arm by over a quarter. Prisons are facing new security challenges with a sharp rise in the number of drones used to fly and drop contraband over prison walls and nearly 17,000 mobile phones and SIM cards found in prisons in 2015 alone. The performance of prisons appears to have worsened, with six jails given “serious concern” by inspectors compared with only three in 2014-15. Currently nearly half of all prisoners go on to re-offend within a year with an estimated cost to society of £15bn a year. The Secretary of State for Justice has had prisons are not working, so what needs to be done to make our prisons places of safety and reform?

To tackle the most pressing threats to safety and security in prisons the government have set plans to invest in staff, strengthen search capability to stop contraband entering prison and reducing supply and demand for drugs and illicit mobile devices. The Crown Prosecution Service, police and others in the criminal justice system are expected to work together to ensure a robust response to tackling criminality in prisons. Alongside the announcements to boost staff numbers investment will aim to further improve capability by providing the right tools, training and support for existing staff to enable them to do their job more effectively and take on new responsibilities such as one-to-one support to prisoners. Campaigns for new talent include a direct entry scheme for managers, a new graduate recruitment scheme and a target to increase the number of former armed forces personnel working in the prison system.

Significant reforms set out in the White paper aim to transform how our prisons are run and aim to give prisoners the skills they need to become law-abiding citizens when they are released. To help raise standards new performance measures for every prison will be set from April 2017 and an annual league table for prison performance published. Alongside this greater accountability prison governors will be given greater devolved powers to determine how their prisons are run, including how to prioritise and deliver services within their prisons. Greater decision making is set to include authority over workforce planning, budgets and a range of service provision. Devolving control over healthcare, education, work, family ties, offender behavior and resettlement programmes will allow governors to decide how their budget will be spent to deliver a strategy focused on safety and sustained improvement. More empowered governors will be tasked to implement tangible improvements by 2020 introducing new ways of working and modern technology to improve regimes, support reform and combat security threats.

A quarter of our prisons were built before 1900 and around 25% of prisoners are held in crowded conditions. Over the next four years £1.3 billion has been earmarked to reform the prison estate and build up to 10,000 new adult prison places. The vison is to ensure the estate becomes less crowded, better organised and more effective. The aim is for prison staff and prisoners to work and live in a safe and secure environment that is modern and fit for the purpose of helping prisoners reform. It was also announced that there will also be a major programme of closures over the next five years for old and inefficient prisons. This will require significant planning and reform of the estate and could create further stresses on the system at the same time services are tasked with delivering the biggest structural and cultural change in a generation.

Prison Safety and Reform: Restoring Stability, Transforming Lives will explore how to implement the proposals for prison reform and help drive forward improvements in prison and supporting services. The challenge of transforming lives and creating purposeful centres of reform requires a huge structural and cultural change, this conference agenda will support those working within and supporting the prison system to raise standards and make our prisons places of safety and reform.

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  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Benefits of attending

  • Learn more about the government plans to reform the UK prison system and how proposals can be implemented to drive improvement.
  • Practical insights into how staff and leaders can be best supported to develop their skills to resolve tension before violence breaks out, carry out searches for weapons and drugs, and building mentor relationships with offenders.
  • Learn how prison and supporting services can make the key recommendations of the Prison Reform White Paper a reality.
  • Gain a greater understanding of plans for more autonomy and flexibility for governors.
  • Practical guidance on how to implement behavioural programmes, commission healthcare service jointly with NHS managers and manage education budgets effectively.
  • Learn how to develop a robust response to tackling criminality in prisons, exploring the right tools, training and support for existing staff to enable them to do their job more effectively and take on new responsibilities such as one-to-one support to prisoners.
  • More information on plans to boost staff numbers and how to implement them.
  • Guidance on managing cultural and structural change and delivering successful, large scale reform.
  • Exploring how to reduce reoffender rates and associated costs to society and prison system.
  • Explore effective workforce planning to deliver right capacity and skills for service expansion and how to promote staff health and wellbeing.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate the very latest policies and new ways of working.
  • Share you own stories and experiences with the conference and contribute to wider thinking about prison reform.
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking.
  • Gain the maximum number of 6 CPD points.

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  • Event Programme

08:30am

Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area

09:30am

Chair’s Opening Address

Diane Curry OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group (POPS) (confirmed)
"Welcome and Introduction"
09:30am

Keynote Address

Rory Geoghegan, Head of Criminal Justice, Centre for Social Justice (confirmed)
"Safety First: Prison Reform and Cutting Crime"

Staff shortages, out-of-date prison facilities and rise in the number of prisoners have led to a system that is under sustained and serious pressure. The Prisons Safety and Reform White Paper sets out the government proposals to invest £1.3bn in new prisons over the next five years and plans for over 2,100 extra officers to be in place by 2018 at a cost of £104m a year.

09:50am
Eoin Mclennan-Murray, Former President, Prison Governors Association (confirmed)
"Empowering Governors: Determining How Our Prisons Are Run"

To help raise standards new performance measures for every prison will be set from April 2017 and an annual league table for prison performance published. Alongside this greater accountability prison governors will be given greater devolved powers to determine how their prisons are run, including how to prioritise and deliver services within their prisons. Greater decision making is set to include authority over workforce planning, budgets and a range of service provision. More empowered governors will be tasked to implement tangible improvements by 2020 introducing new ways of working and modern technology to improve regimes, support reform and combat security threats.

10:10am
Steve Gillan, General Secretary, Prison Officers Associations (confirmed)
"Safe and Secure Prisons"

To tackle the most pressing threats to safety and security in prisons the government have set plans to invest in staff, strengthen search capability to stop contraband entering prison and reducing supply and demand for drugs and illicit mobile devices. Alongside the announcements to boost staff numbers investment will aim to further improve capability by providing the right tools, training and support for existing staff to enable them to do their job more effectively and take on new responsibilities such as one-to-one support to prisoners.

10:30am

Question and Answer Session

10:50am

Coffee in the Networking Area

11:35am

Case Study

SquareHead Technology (confirmed)

11:55am
Peter Dawson, Director and Company Secretary, Prison Reform Trust (confirmed)
"Active Citizenship"

Prisoners are active citizens when they exercise responsibility by making positive contributions to prison life or the wider community.

12:15pm
Nathan Dick, Head of Policy and Communications, Clinks (confirmed)
"Supporting Reform: The role of the Voluntary Sector"

A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to turn around lives and address the complex needs experienced by the majority of people living in prison. The government reforms offer the opportunity to rethink service provision in prisons and delivering well-evidenced alternatives to custody.

12:35pm

Case Study

Matt Spencer, General Manager Public Security Business, 3M (confirmed)
12:55pm

Question and Answer Session

13:15pm

Lunch in the Networking Area

14:15pm

Chair’s Afternoon Address

14:20pm

Panel Discussion

Christine Kelly, Assistant Head of Health and Justice Commissioning, NHS England (confirmed)
Professor Sheila Bird OBE FRSE, Programme Leader in Biostatistics Research, MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU) (confirmed)
Jessica Stubbs, Researcher, Centre for Mental Health (confirmed)
"Transforming Prison Healthcare"

Self-inflicted deaths had risen by 28% and in the same period 321 people died in prison custody, an increase of 30%. A Ministry of Justice survey found that 64% of offenders reported that they had used class A drugs at some point and 49% were identified as suffering from anxiety and/or depression. Delivering high quality healthcare for people in prisons requires a whole prison approach and a need for governors to work more closely and effectively with healthcare commissioners and providers.

15:00pm

Afternoon Refreshment Break

15:15pm
John Illingsworth, Director of North West Prisons, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) (confirmed)
"The Role of the Criminal Justice System Supporting Reform"

The Crown Prosecution Service, police and others in the criminal justice system are expected to work together to ensure a robust response to tackling criminality in prisons. Prisons are facing new security challenges with a sharp rise in the number of drones used to fly and drop contraband over prison walls and nearly 17,000 mobile phones and SIM cards found in prisons in 2015 alone.

15:35pm
Kate Fraser, Northern Services Development Manager, Greater Manchester Women Offenders Alliance (confirmed)
"Building the Right Estate for Prison Reform"

Women in Prison’s 2020 Campaign is aiming to reduce the number of women in prison from 3,900 to 2020 by 2020. This includes making sure community support is in place that will help women turn their lives around and reduce the current rates of reoffending and recall.

15:55pm
Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust (confirmed)
"Transforming Lives: How Prison Education Matters"

A prison sentence damages an individual’s chances of being a successful member of society in many ways. Hope through education can mitigate that damage and we know that it makes a difference to lives after release. Over a year since Dame Sally Coates’ major review of prison education, what has been achieved and what more can be done to take advantage of learning as a route to rehabilitation as a successful citizen?

16:15pm

Question and Answer Session

16:30pm

Chair’s Closing Remarks and Event Close

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Contact Details

News

  • Safety in Prison

    • Posted on : 20 June 2017
    • by Jessica Stubbs
  • Public safety is undermined when we fail to ensure prison safety

    • Posted on : 15 June 2017
    • by Rory Geoghegan
  • Prison Safety and Reform: A Perspective From Health Commissioning

    • Posted on : 15 June 2017
    • by Christine Kelly
  • Transforming Lives: How Prison Education Matter

    • Posted on : 12 June 2017
    • by Rod Clark

Sponsors

Venue

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Construction of The Bridgewater Hall commenced on 22 March 1993, but the idea of a new concert hall for Manchester dates back to the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage. The Free Trade Hall was home to the city’s famous Hallé orchestra and also hosted rock and pop concerts. However, despite holding great public affection, the 1850s Free Trade Hall was ill-equipped to respond to the rising standards of service and acoustic excellence demanded by performers and audiences.

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