Keith McInnis’ story
I’ve been with the inspectorate for several years. I joined the Probation Service as a trainee in 1987, worked on community projects after qualifying then took a secondment at HMP Full Sutton from 1992 to 1998.
At Full Sutton, I assessed, evaluated and worked with long-term prisoners, most of whom were in relatively early stages of their sentences. So I got them to talk about their offence, evaluated risk factors, and tied that in with their regular reviews.
I was involved in the first tranche of the Reasoning and Rehabilitation Programme, a US programme brought to the UK which ran alongside the Extended Thinking Skills programme, today known as the Thinking Skills programme.
I also worked with drug users in Full Sutton and set up a group inside the prison. I worked closely with a local drugs agency, and went on to work for them.
Before CARAT, we tendered to run services in prisons and eventually worked in 40 different establishments. I was also involved in developing a couple of accredited programmes – one of which is the Focus Programme which I co-wrote.
As an inspector who focuses on the resettlement work going on in prisons, I’m really interested in offending behaviour programmes and how they have developed.
The introduction of offender management was a great idea, because it linked what happens in prison with what happens in the community.
At the moment offender supervisors are good at collecting information, but sometimes need to sharpen up their analytical skills to assess risk.
What I like about the inspectorate is the real sense of making a difference. Because you work in different places, you see many ways other people have found to solve problems that you can pass on to others.
You’re always drawing on and sharing good practice from other prisons. I’ve just seen a brilliant model for managing diversity at one prison and I’ll use that in my work.