Norwich Prison criticised in report over inmates' self-harm

Norwich Prison
Image caption Inspectors were encouraged prison management understood the challenges they faced

High levels of self-harm among inmates and use of force by staff at Norwich Prison has been uncovered.

A report by the Inspector of Prisons has also highlighted concerns the jail appeared less safe than during a review in 2010.

However, improvements had been made to health care, mental health support and the experience for young adult inmates.

Governor Will Styles said the prison was "working very hard to respond to the recommendations and the findings".

The report also shows that the induction of vulnerable prisoners was inadequate and there was limited supervision by staff on some wings.

Nick Hardwick, chief inspector of prisons, said: "Overall this is a critical report.

"Norwich is a difficult prison to manage but we were encouraged that the management team seemed to have a good grasp of the challenges they faced."

He also noted "there was optimism among managers they could take the prison forward".

This optimism was shown in how staff-prisoner relationships and work on diversity have improved, the report indicated.

Mr Styles accepted there was a "a lot of learning to be had from the inspection".

'Determined to improve'

"But they did point out that Norwich Prison is better now than it has been historically," he said.

"The inspection took place five months ago and I think we've taken the place forward significantly in that time, so I'm really optimistic about the future."

Michael Spurr, chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said the report shows Norwich is a "complex prison".

"The governor and his senior team are determined to deliver further improvement, and I am confident they will do so," he said.

The prison on Knox Road is based on three adjacent sites and is home to 800 inmates.

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