Full inspections: HMI Prisons

The Inspectorate collects information from many sources, including the people who work there, the people who are imprisoned or detained there, and visitors or others with an interest in the establishment.

If the inspection is announced, one month prior to the inspection, researchers will visit the establishment to obtain preliminary information. They will conduct a survey of a representative proportion of the prisoner or detainee population. This is because it is important to know prisoners' and detainees' views. The survey is confidential and anonymous.

All inspections are conducted against the Inspectorate's published criteria Expectations. Sources of evidence include focus groups of prisoners or detainees, individual interviews, documentation and observation by inspectors. Prisoners and detainees can speak to inspectors in confidence. A full healthy prison summary is prepared including healthy prison assessments under the headings of safety, respect, purposeful activity, and resettlement.

Inspection findings are reported back to the establishment's managers. Reports are published within 18 weeks of inspection. The establishment is then expected to produce an action plan, based on the recommendations made within the report, within a short period following publication.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons


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