Trauma informed practice at HMP Send

Steve Dempsey on positive steps being taken at HMP Send

On Wednesday 18 November, following on from the visit to HMP Send from Dr Stephanie Covington and the success of the ‘Becoming Trauma Informed’ training delivered in September, a meeting was held to discuss the way forward at HMP Send.

The meeting was attended by the No.1 Governor, Residential Governor, Safer Prisons and Equality Governor, Residential Governor and the Personality Disorder Pathway Custodial Manager. To start the meeting the group where given a ‘Trauma Informed: Story So Far’ on the progress in the UK and the history behind the ‘One Small Thing’ initiative founded by Edwina Grosvenor.

The group then turned to the meeting agenda looking at five main simple headings:

  1. Development of a Trauma Informed Team
  2. Future Training for staff
  3. Walk-Through Exercise
  4. Resources
  5. Pilot training for the women (Healing Trauma Strategies for Abused Women)

Each subject was discussed resulting in positive steps to create a Trauma Informed Environment at HMP Send. The development of the team was agreed on, with a meeting taking place shortly to look at the criteria of the group which will include a number of the women. Staff training would include sessions for new staff, staff that missed the initial training and also ongoing refresher training for staff. The two areas agreed that would benefit from an initial Walk-Through exercise would be the reception area and the Health Care Provision. It was agreed that resources would need to be discussed at greater length in one of the on-going meetings.

Also in the discussion concerning the training for the women, the idea was discussed about having the women take the initiative and be included in presenting the training as it was felt that when the women are included in any initiative, the impact is far greater. This option could also be utilised in the Staff Training. The ‘Becoming Trauma Informed’ Toolkit would be the platform for the way forward at HMP Send with some adaptation to our particular prison needs.

Steve Dempsey

HMP Send

Steve Dempsey is a Specialist Therapeutic Community Officer at HMP Send