Prisons: Complaints

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number of prisons that have adopted a problem-solving approach to tackling complaints; and whether complainants are able to state what action they want taken as a result of an investigation into their complaint.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The current Prisoner Complaints policy framework was published in August 2019 and implemented across all prisons in England and Wales. There is a clear requirement within this for staff in all prisons to adopt a problem-solving approach and give prisoners the opportunity to state what they want to see happen as a result of their complaint.

Operational managers are required to complete routine checks of samples of complaint forms in order assure themselves of the quality of responses and address any staff training issues. Work is underway with the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s complaints leads to review this assurance process.

Outside of this process, people in prison are also able to submit a DIRF (Discrimination Incident Reporting Form) if they perceive that they have experienced, or witnessed, an incident of discrimination. This process is confidential and each incident must be investigated via a designated process within a set timeline.

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