Local Member of Parliament Maria Caulfield has welcomed the report published by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for HMP Lewes.
The report noted that despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus Pandemic, a number of improvements have been made at the prison over the past year.
Reducing in the number of healthcare providers from eight down to three has delivered noticeable improvements in of care for prisoners. The new provider has a strong working relationship with the prison and has overseen a major improvement in the responsiveness to healthcare complaints.
Security at the prison has improved with scanners used to detect drugs coming into the prison through the post. The number of sniffer dogs has also increased and a body scanner has been introduced in the reception area.
Measures were put in place in March 2020 to ensure there is coordinated support for any prisoners who have been identified as being at risk of self-harm. Weekly intervention meetings were identified in the report as having progressed this support.
The IMB was pleased that there has been a significant reduction in the use of special accommodation since the last report and welcomed the setting up of a BAME residents’ forum which was viewed as a very positive step.
Having read the report, Maria said “I want to put on record my thanks to the Governor and staff at the prison. Having visited many times I know what difficult conditions they work under in a very old and challenging building. They have made significant changes to improve the lives of prisoners and are making sure that while prisoners serve their sentences, the chances of them turning their lives around on release are improving. Improving health care and reducing the drugs found in the prison are major steps forward”.