TO ALL WE COME
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The name of HMP Oakwood is derived from the “Royal Oak.” Legend has it that King Charles 11 climbed up an oak tree to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The tree was located in nearby Boscobel Wood.
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations relates the 14th century proverb “great oaks, from little acorns grow”.
This suggests that great things may come from small beginnings.
WELCOME TO HMP OAKWOOD FROM THE DIRECTOR, SEAN OLIVER
At Oakwood we aim to provide all prisoners with a platform to change their lives. We will promote a community culture where prisoners will be able to assist the management team to establish projects, processes and forums that meet the needs of the population.
We will try to recognise the skills, talents and abilities of the prisoners and empower those who can lead by example and inspire others to change their mind-set.
We offer modern facilities, access to training, education, industrial type employment, interventions and physical health and wellbeing initiatives.
We will offer prisoners with substance misuse issues an opportunity to safely withdraw from such behaviour on our Drug Recovery Unit.
- To always strive for excellence.
- To maintain our community as a safe and decent place to reside and work.
- To work closely and inclusively with all prisoner groups to always seek to meet the needs of the population.
- To provide diverse and challenging regimes for all prisoners.
- To build positive, healthy relationships between all groups of staff and prisoners within the Oakwood Community.
- To always drive the rehabilitation agenda working closely with both internal and external partners.
- To make Oakwood a place where both prisoners and staff can achieve betterment.
Sean Oliver, Director of G4S managed HMP Oakwood.
HMP Oakwood is committed to having close involvement with community and voluntary organisations. We have already established links with the local community and Parish Council of South Staffordshire. We are also working alongside a variety of local organisations and we support local charities through fundraising. Oakwood is keen to continue to welcome visits from local stakeholders to showcase the good work being carried out within its perimeter.
Oakwood will continue to strengthen its relationships with the local community and we believe that good community relations will involve several activities:
– Allaying the community’s fears about HMP Oakwood.
– Protecting the community’s health and safety.
– Encouraging and managing employee volunteerism.
– Implementing fair recruitment and employment practices.
As part of this community, HMP Oakwood is committed to being a good neighbour. As such, we pledge to be responsive to the concerns and the welfare of those with whom we share the land by:
– ensuring that the grounds are kept to a high standard;
– maintaining profitable — but ethical — operating practices;
– managing HMP Oakwood’s contributions of time and money;
– listening to community wants and needs.
We will work towards building a positive, open relationship and interdependence among all that care about this community’s well-being. We will be forthright and open in all of our dealings with the community.
We believe in the need for two-way communication with the community at large, and will seek its feedback. This feedback will be a valuable part of our operations and will become an integral part of our decision-making process.
We pledge that any decisions impacting on the community will be communicated to them in a timely and accurate manner.
Finally and most importantly being a good neighbour is not something that can be done sporadically but rather is something that needs to be done consistently and visibly.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
At HMP Oakwood the catering is provided in partnership with Aramark, one of the largest food service providers in the world.
The catering department provides meals three times daily for prisoners and oversee a breakfast and lunch service in the staff restaurant.
The menu rotates on a four weekly basis concentrating on promoting healthy choices whilst catering for all dietary, cultural and religious needs as well as special diets as prescribed by the prison healthcare provider. Food is ordered via a weekly pre-select system and the choices are delivered to the units by a hot trolley system.
Safety and hygiene are of paramount importance when working with food, and at HMP Oakwood we ensure all prisoners receive a range of training opportunities. The Aramark staff provide prisoners with training which is refreshed on a regular basis. Some examples of training include:
– Safe food handling
– Healthy cooking techniques
– Operation of catering equipment
– Safe knife drill
– Reporting sickness and accidents
– Energy Conservation in the kitchen
– Fire procedures
– Control of substances hazardous to health regulations
– Menu planning
In line with HMP Oakwood’s commitment to providing its prisoners with training opportunities, they are offered NVQ courses in Catering and Hospitality. Courses provided by Aramark include:
– Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate
– Level 2 Allergen Awareness Certificate
– Level 2 HACCP Certificate
– Level 2 Health & Safety Certificate
– City & Guilds NVQ Level 1 & Level 2 Food Preparation
– City & Guilds NVQ L1 in Warehouse and Storage
– City & Guild NVQ L1 Customers Services
Aramark also offer resettlement opportunities and work placements through their IN2WORK scheme, in partnership with local employers.
“One Chaplaincy, One Team, One Vision” ‘To Help, Support and Inspire’
The Multi-faith Centre is an integral part of the Oakwood community and is available to everyone.
What is Chaplaincy?
- A team built of leaders of many different faiths coming together as part of a multi faith team to work from one platform to help, support, guide and inspire others.
- The Chaplaincy team at Oakwood is committed to serving the mental and spiritual needs of both prisoners and staff.
- We work together respecting the integrity of all faiths, traditions and cultures.
- We believe that faith directs, guides and inspires life.
- We endeavour to help prisoners make best use of their time in custody and assist in helping them to acknowledge their mistakes and aid them in becoming law abiding citizens once they return to the wider community.
- Chaplaincy works as a support network between staff and prisoners. Always on hand to support and listen to those in need.
What services do we provide?
- Availability of qualified chaplains on a daily basis, 7 days a week.
- Availability of literature and religious material of all major world faiths.
- Providing sacred space to allow prisoners to express, practice and deepen their faith as well as facilitating all major religious festivals.
- Weekly study groups and corporate worship available for all to attend.
- Visiting speakers for motivational and faith based events.
- A direct link between all prison departments especially Healthcare, Safer Custody, Equalities and the management.
- A peaceful place for contemplation and reflection for both prisoners and staff.
- Facilitating visits to see dying relatives as well as attending funerals.
- A unique one-to-one bereavement support service tailor made to meet the needs of grieving prisoners and staff. .
- Excellent care and support for the most vulnerable, needy and elderly of the Oakwood community.
- Direct links with Resettlement and other through-the-gate service providers who work with Chaplaincy to assist prisoners upon release.
Led by Imam Haroon Shafiq, the Oakwood Chaplaincy Team is a dynamic and diverse team that has embraced change with innovation to become a model for what spiritual guidance and pastoral support looks like in the custodial environment.
Full time, part time, sessional and volunteer chaplains work together to provide opportunities for worship, prayer, specialist bereavement and counselling support for members of any faith and none.
The team currently includes Chaplains and volunteers from the faith traditions of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of the Latter Day Saints to mention just a few.
“Bridging differences and changing perceptions”
Project Unite is a prisoner led initiative managed by the Chaplaincy manager but run by the prisoners.
A unique platform which enables prisoners to work alongside both staff and prisoners, to bridge differences and change negative perceptions of each other.
Primary Care Services
All healthcare services at HMP Oakwood are provided by
Practice Plus Group.
Every prisoner sees a nurse on arrival at the prison. They undertake a comprehensive health screen to ascertain any medical conditions, any medication requirements and any health care concerns.
Medication is administered on each of the house blocks twice a day.
Medication times are widely advertised throughout the prison.
Healthcare staff are on site from 07.00 – 20.00 Monday – Friday and 07.30 – 17.30 on weekends and Bank Holidays. Outside these hours, the prison is able to access the community out of hours GP service.
A wide variety of clinics are delivered either in the main Healthcare centre or on the house blocks.
Applications to see all healthcare professionals are made using the CMS kiosks located on each of the house blocks. Prisoners are usually assessed by a nurse in the first instance before seeing a doctor.
Clinics delivered on site include:
– Long Term Condition Management such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy
– Vaccination and Immunisation
– Well Man and NHS Check
– Sexual Health Services
– Stop Smoking
Doctors are on site at HMP Oakwood Monday – Friday. At all other times prison management can access the community out of hours GP.
The dental team administer treatment services Monday to Friday. All applications made to see the dentist are triaged by a member of the dental team.
Substance Misuse Services
An exemplary Integrated Substance Misuse Service (ISMS) is available. ISMS deliver a wide range of psychosocial and clinical interventions to assist service users achieve their recovery. With firm links in the community we ensure continuity of care is maintained on release. Working close with families and carers to be involved in the service users recovery journey.
Mental Health Services
An integrated Mental Health service is provided on site at HMP Oakwood. The team provide ongoing care if a prisoner already has support. New patients can be referred to the service by healthcare professionals, prison staff or by self-referral. After an initial assessment a wide range of mental health interventions are available including access to onsite psychiatrists and psychologists.
The service is commissioned by North Midlands NHS England and provided by Practice Plus Group.
The Physical Education department at HMP Oakwood aims to make a major contribution to the regimes of the prison by providing professional, purposeful and constructive physical education opportunities for prisoners and opportunities for personal development. This will prepare prisoners for reintegration into the community, improve health and fitness and contribute towards developing the employability of prisoners on release.
All facilities and equipment are available to both prisoners and staff alike.
The PE department is extremely well equipped with state of the art equipment that is housed in a modern, spacious, purpose built facility. Access to prisoners is available 7 days per week. A full PE programme has been developed to ensure all prisoners have fair use of all facilities on offer.
There are two rooms dedicated to cardiovascular fitness housing approximately 40 pieces of equipment, including:
- Upright cycles
- Recumbent cycles
- Spinning cycles
- Concept II rowing machines
- Versa climb
There is a dedicated area for resistance training which houses:
- Olympic standard free weights and dumbbells
- State of the art resistance machines
We also have a four court sports hall where prisoners can engage in a wide range of activities and indoor sports such as:
- Circuit training
- Touch rugby
- Cricket – Football
Academies are also available for prisoners to participate in, based on some of the above sports such as football, basketball, and rugby. Prisoners also have the opportunity to become qualified in these areas.
We offer specialist interventions for prisoners with health care needs through the exercise referral scheme which is led by highly qualified and dedicated physical education officers. These specialist sessions cater for prisoners with chronic disease, disability, cardiac rehabilitation and injury rehabilitation needs.
Accreditation and qualification
HMP Oakwood provides several opportunities for prisoners to gain access to a wide range of accredited qualifications to contribute towards developing their employability on release, these include:
- CYQ Level 1 healthy lifestyle management
- CYQ Level 2 fitness instructor
- CYQ Level 3 advanced fitness instructor
All of the above courses are delivered by highly qualified and dedicated physical education officers.
HMP Oakwood is committed to meeting the needs of all prisoners to maximise opportunities to lead law abiding lives on release.
On arrival we will establish an individual’s needs across all resettlement pathway areas and work with them to provide support through the provision of appropriate interventions and training opportunities. These may include employability training, education, family interventions, debt advice and housing support. Oakwood offers the HMPPS accredited interventions Thinking Skills Programme and Resolve which are aimed at reducing risk on release. We also provide a range of non-accredited interventions. At all times our purpose is to support the individual to make appropriate choices and to be able to improve their confidence and opportunities for the future.
Restorative Justice Conferencing victim awareness work is available to those for who it may be appropriate and is encouraged to allow offenders and their victims to move forward with their lives.
We have a dedicated Resettlement team who work closely with a wide range of third sector partners to provide advice on housing and employment opportunities. All prisoners will be offered the opportunity to attend a resettlement course prior to discharge where we will work to meet needs and maximise opportunity. We recognise that society is ever changing and we welcome local specialists to provide services within Oakwood to enable the prisoners to get the most relevant and up to date advice and support.
We aim to give prisoners responsibility by offering real life experiences of managing and developing new projects and gaining experience of supporting others. We have developed initiatives in collaboration with local organisations and our prisoners to best prepare them for release. Our offering is innovative, supportive and challenging.
We aim to provide through the gate support where required and will work with partner agencies to enable the best possible chances for those in our care. Our drug recovery unit runs in collaboration with local agencies to provide prisoners with through care support on release. Our links with local mentoring and employability projects enable our prisoners to begin planning for their release with local agencies whilst still in custody.
To support families and prisoners on release we have a community hub located within our Visitors Centre (Family Pathways Centre). Within the hub there are dedicated staff and prisoners who can provide advice and support on all aspects of resettling into the community. The hub also offers a food and clothing bank and shuttle service to enable those released to get to the local station. All of these steps have been taken to maximise an individual’s success on release.
As part of our ongoing support for prisoners and particularly those serving lengthy sentences, we have introduced the following new initiatives involving the therapeutic benefits of pets.
As part of our ongoing support for prisoners and particularly those serving lengthy sentences, we have introduced the following new initiatives involving the therapeutic benefits of pets.
PAT Dogs: Oakwood staff are encouraged to bring their pet dog into the prison and out onto the wings for prisoners to enjoy their company, having first undergone an assessment process.
The purpose of the intervention is to ensure that the staff member and dog are exposed to as many Prisoners across the prison to create a calming and rehabilitative environment.
There is significant research that suggests the use of PAT dogs in prison environments has potential benefits on prisoners’ mental health, their wellbeing and relationships. The prisoners at Oakwood have already seen a variety of dogs and have appreciated and welcomed them being around the prison.
In-cell Budgie: Prisoners are allowed to keep caged birds as part of the ‘Earned Privileges Scheme,’ and take great pride and comfort in their birds. The ownership of a pet can also have a therapeutic effect on prisoners, which benefits the prison as a whole.
Allowing prisoners to have birds in their cells ¬engenders a sense of responsibility as well as providing an interest, particularly for those serving long sentences. While any pets are likely to improve prison life for both prisoners and officers, it has been proven to effectively help the rehabilitation.
Our onsite aviary is managed by prisoners for prisoners. Breeding pairs ensure availability of birds for new prisoners.
On arrival at Oakwood new prisoners enter a welcoming environment. Staff are polite and respectful and men are made aware immediately of the amnesty policy around illicit items.
Prisoners are processed professionally including property checks, health assessments and vulnerability assessments.
Part of this process involves meeting with PACE mentors – prisoners who have been carefully selected and trained – who will advise new prisoners on the ‘Oakwood Way’.
The induction process continues in the early days. The process is predominantly peer led and classroom based. The process seeks to educate further on the Oakwood Way and to remove any fears or concerns new prisoners may have.
On completion of induction, men are allocated to wings around the prison depending on their needs.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Oakwood works in partnership with Novus and other providers, offering a wide range of education and training opportunities for our prisoners.
The curriculum offered is designed to maximise resettlement and employment opportunities on release. All prisoners will receive information and guidance, to support and encourage setting clear targets and selecting appropriate career pathways.
A wide range of educational opportunities are available, these include courses from entry level to degree level via our distance learning provision. Additional learning support is available for those who may be experiencing difficulties and we aim to increase confidence through our individualised support for these prisoners.
A diverse range of work opportunities are available for our prisoners which are aimed to improve and develop employability skills. All workshops are designed to meet the needs of employers and are reviewed to meet employment opportunities available to our prisoners on release. Accredited vocational training qualifications can be gained in our modern vocational training workshops. Qualifications offered include Railtrack Maintenance, FLT, Bricklaying, Painting and Decorating, Carpentry, Scaffolding, Hospitality, Barbering, Warehousing and Storage, Light Vehicle Maintenance and Car Valeting.
Education courses include Maths, English, ESOL, ICT, Employability Skills, Business, Mentoring, LEAN Management, Performing Arts, Creative Skills, Music Technology, Leadership and Management, Fitness Instructing, Customer Service, Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity and Health and Nutrition.
Education courses are embedded within the wider prison and are offered as part of enrichment programmes within the Drug Rehabilitation Unit and Family Unit.
Modern classroom facilities are situated on the 3 main house blocks, all having IT facilities and separate IT Suites. Virtual Campus is available throughout the site to support learning and resettlement opportunities.