A number of failings were uncovered in an investigation into the island's prison.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) was invited to the Jurby jail in March 2023 to inspect the facility and processes under their standard inspection framework.

The report highlighted some areas of concern, as well as recognising some of the good practice on island. Since receiving the report action has already been taken to implement some improvements.

HMIP raised six areas of priority concern, including; governance, at-risk prisoners, clinical governance, prisoner education, public protection and offence-focused interventions.

It also praised some of the notable practices, in particular the support provided to young people transferring from the secure training centre to the adult prison, and the well-balanced and respectful relationships between prisoners and staff – with 88% of prisoners saying there were staff they felt they could turn to if they had a problem, which was significantly better than in comparator prisons.

The report raised particular concerns around governance of processes, including data collection and monitoring, ensuring policies were in place and staff training completed. The action plan sets out in detail how the Prison will tackle these issues, with the majority of changes being implemented before the end of 2023.

HMIP also listed the education, work and training at the Isle of Man Prison as a concern. Education within the prison has been the focus of improvements recently, with the creation of a new workshop and further vocational courses. The prison’s newly appointed forensic psychologist has developed a range of new offence-focused interventions, including group work and violence reduction programmes.

The prison featured in a series on Independent Television in 2019

Alongside this report the Department of Home Affairs has released its response, and an action plan for addressing the issues. The action plan has been created as a living document, to be updated and amended as required throughout the improvements process.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Jane Poole-Wilson MHK said: ’I’d like to thank HMIP for this thorough inspection report. The prison and the department are working swiftly to address the concerns, and ensure that good practice is embedded across all areas. The department has requested that HMIP return in 2024 to assess progress and has also sought a review by the Prisons Ombudsman in England and Wales into the recent deaths in custody which remain subject to the Coronal process, in order to identify any further areas for improvement

‘The report’s findings demonstrate there are evidential issues that are process related, but that the experience of prisoners – as demonstrated by the survey results, are mostly positive. This report provides us with a clear direction of travel for improvements as well as confirming the benefit of changes underway and planned, to ensure we’re providing a safe and effective service.’

Prison governor and head of probation Leroy Bonnick said: ‘I am very proud to be leading an organisation such the island’s prison and probation service. I am part of a complex environment that can only function if we continue to champion effective leadership and this report is an essential benchmark of where we are and where we need to be going forward with the priority and key concerns that are highlighted in the report. I am confident we will have addressed the issues identified by the time HMIP conduct its follow-up inspection in 2024.

He continued: ‘I would like to thank all staff for their hard work and dedication during the past few years in what has been turbulent times. Not forgetting the co-operation and understanding of all prisoners.’

The full report, alongside an improvement action plan, are available to read on the prison and probation service webpage.