The Prison Service is committed to protecting the public. This means holding prisoners securely and pursuing policies to reduce re-offending.
Our core business is keeping prisoners in custody. Security is the bedrock on which all of our efforts to develop positive regimes are based. We continually strive to improve our excellent security record that has seen no escapes by Category A prisoners since 1995.
The prevention of escapes has resulted in more resources being invested in programmes to treat, educate and rehabilitate prisoners.
Security is an all-embracing term. By it we mean:
- Physical security: walls, bars, locks or even more modern devices such as Closed Circuit Television
- Security procedures – for instance accounting for prisoners or searching cells
- Assessment procedures – categorising prisoners to make sure that they are kept in appropriate security conditions
- Intelligence gathering.
Security is also achieved in other ways:
- By diverting prisoners' energy into constructive work and activity
- By developing positive relationships with prisoners
- By creating decent regimes and programmes for prisoners.