DARTMOOR Prison, praised for its ?exceptional? work in 2004/05, last week added yet another award to a growing string of accolades garnered over the last couple of years. The gaol was last week named most improved prison in this year?s High Performing Prison Awards ? a new title awarded jointly to HMP Dartmoor and HMP Brixton. Both prisons have climbed from a level 1 to a level 3 in the performance rating system over the last two years, thanks to a determined commitment to improve on behalf of prison staff. The High Performing Prison Awards for public sector organisations were introduced by the prison service in 2003, to celebrate the achievements of its best establishments as part of an annual system of recognition. Tony Early, deputy governor of Dartmoor Prison, said: ?Obviously we are delighted with the award ? it?s another one to put on our shelf. ?The resettlement team won the 2004 public servants of the year award and we had great success when one of our officers won prison officer of the year, so things are really looking up and I think it?s a real acknowledgment from the prison board to the achievements we?ve obtained since we went through the performance testing process.? Mr Early said a big investment programme was moving forward at Dartmoor, with new alarm systems and electrical upgrading work taking place in September, plus more investment in the workshops, gym and health centre. The senior management team at the prison was continuing to build on the success of Dartmoor?s performance test results, said Mr Early. Phil Wheatley, director general of the prison service, said: ?I am proud to celebrate the achievements of our best establishments. ?The most improved prison is a new award and the progress made by Brixton and Dartmoor shows what can be achieved when managers, staff and unions work together to deliver a better prison. ?Dartmoor is now a safer, more secure prison delivering better outcomes for prisoners ? the prison has improved rapidly since the performance test in 2003.? Mr Wheatley said Dartmoor had ?fully embraced? its category C role and provided a high level of constructive activity for prisoners. ?The prison?s resettlement function now serves as a model for other establishments and has deservedly attracted significant external recognition.?
Prison nets top accolade
Wednesday 3rd August 2005 10:00 pm