Positive report on prison social work service

SOCIAL work services at Kilmarnock Prison have awarded top marks by inspectors. The positive findings are revealed in a report from the Social Work Inspection Agency which carried out an inspection at the jail earlier this year.

Members of East Ayrshire Council’s governance and scrutiny committee heard that the prison social work service performed well and was said to “make a positive contribution to public protection and prisoner resettlement”.

Inspector found that the service was valued by other staff groups in the prison.

The agency recognised that the prison-based social work service had also identified ways to improve.

Among the inspectors’ recommendations were that East Ayrshire Council should find ways to explain risk assessment procedures and practices to prisoners more clearly and should establish ways to collect feedback from inmates.

It is also recommended that support for the children and families of prisoners should be improved.

The prison social work service is provided by the council, but is paid for by jail operators SERCO at an annual cost of £207,190.

It comprises a team manager and three social workers, as well as an admin support worker provided by SERCO.