HMI Probation works with HMI Prisons on inspections of adult and young adult prisons. Our focus is on assessing the quality of offender management, that is, the coordinated work with offenders designed to reduce their likelihood of reoffending and the risk of harm they pose to others.

We take a flexible approach to inspecting the work of the offender management unit (OMU), adapting our approach to fit the role of the prison being inspected. As the changes associated with the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda take effect, further revision of inspection arrangements may be required so as to make sure that Through the Gate services can be fully evaluated.

As part of the inspection we typically:

  • inspect a sample of case files both in and out of scope of the Offender Management Model
  • have informal discussions with relevant offender supervisors about their work with these prisoners
  • interview those prisoners whose case files we have examined, in order to make judgments about their engagement with sentence planning and with OMU staff
  • meet formally with OMU practitioners to hear representative views about the frontline operation of offender management
  • meet informally with operational and strategic managers and other practitioners working within the areas of resettlement, public protection and offender management.

Our findings from case file examination and meetings with staff and prisoners are built upon during the course of the inspection and feed into the overall judgments made by HMI Prisons.

A summary of joint provisional findings forms part of the feedback to prison senior management at the end of the inspection and is reflected in the published prison inspection report. This may include recommendations for improvement, as well as highlighting examples of good practice.

Aggregate findings from our inspections are published periodically.

An aggregate report on findings from the joint inspection of offender management arrangements in 2009-10 was published on March 2011.

A second aggregate report on offender management in prisons was published in July 2012.

A third aggregate report on offender management in prisons was published in December 2013.