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Introduction: The Irish Prison Service is currently auditing general compliance as part of its security review. The audit is trying to establish if we are implementing good practices or if we have gaps, and we wish to insert some comparative analysis of other services processes. Audit and General Compliance should be seen as interchangeable for the purposes of the question.
HMPPS uses a National Security Framework (NSF) to provide policy, Information, and guidance to all prisons in order to maintain high levels of security and prevent escapes. The NSF allows Governor’s autonomy in some areas to determine levels of delivery within their own establishments following local risk assessment. The National Security Framework is the source information for each prison to use to produce its own Local Security Strategy (LSS). Individual Prison Governors are required to develop an LSS for their prison in-line with the NSF to ensure compliance is achieved with mandated policy elements and to determine local delivery where national policy allows autonomy. The LSS then provides security delivery instructions to local staff which are specific to delivery within their own establishment.Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
The Governing Governor holds overall accountability for security delivery and policy compliance within their own prison but ultimately all staff employed within each prison are responsible for adherence to policy and procedures relating to security delivery.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
Security Audits are delivered by an internal team based within HMPPS HQ who deliver a suite of security related audits. Our closed prisons Security Audit tests the prisons compliance with policy, the quality of delivery and awareness of staff. All High Security establishments are audited on an annual basis, all other closed prisons should be visited on a three-year cycle. This audit seeks to measure three outcomes, the prisons effectiveness of: - Managing the risk of escape, Managing illicit items and Maintaining control and order. (A security audit is delivered in open prisons and whilst this tests the same outcomes, the methodology and product differ).Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
Our closed prisons Security audit is a bespoke product which was developed in line with NSF mandated policy instructions. The audit is delivered using a bespoke audit template which was created by the Audit Managers and is under regular review to ensure changes in policy are included. Delivery and approach of the Security audit is standard across all closed prisons visited. The Audit tests delivery against the NSF and each prison’s LSS. The audit scoring system is based not only upon compliance levels but also risk factors. In determining scoring, we must understand the level of risk that the non-compliance presents to individual prisons.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
The outcome of the Security Audit feeds into the overall performance rating of each prison. On conclusion of the audit, an action plan is issued to the Governor and copied to the Regional Deputy Director and Executive Director. This action plan contains each individual area of identified non-compliance and makes recommendations to the Governor in order to achieve compliance. Our recommendations do not detail what processes the Governor should take to achieve compliance but is an overarching statement e.g. “The Governor takes action to ensure visits are managed in accordance with policy”. We issue a draft report which requires the prison to state their proposals for rectifying the findings within the action plan. We then review these proposals and ensure they will comprehensively address the issue in question. A final report is then issued across the Operational Line, including to the Director General of Prisons and Second Permanent secretary. Informally, the Audit team will share best practice by introducing prisons performing highly in a specific area, to prisons who are not, in order to promote good practice sharing.
The work of Estonian prisons is regulated by laws and regulations. To ensure equal treatment of inmates and quality of work in prisons, prisons have unified the rules of procedure of a prison and agreed SOPs (which are also taught to prison officers at school). SOPs used in prisons may vary depending on the problem that is being solved. In additsion, there are some other work arrangements that have been agreed upon across prisons.Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
Directors of prisons are responsible for compliance with work processes, which are centrally supervised by the Prisons Department of the Ministry of Justice.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
The Prison Department of the Ministry of Justice exercises supervisory control over prisons. For the purpose of exercising supervisory control, inter alia a supervisory inspection may be arranged which means the inspection of a prison for the purpose of detecting and correcting and thereafter preventing mistakes in the work and work organisation of the prison. Officials and employees in the prison service and other experts may be involved in the supervisory inspection. The supervisory inspections are done either on an emergency basis or in accordance with the annual work plan of the Prisons Department. External auditors are used to evaluate technical systems. The National Audit Office and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the Ministry of Justice Internal Audit Department also carry out regular inspections in prisons.Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
The procedure for supervisory inspection is regulated by a regulation of the Minister of Justice "Prison procedure for supervisory inspections". The specific topic of the supervisory inspection is agreed in advance and confirmed with the work plan of the Prisons Department of the Ministry of Justice.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
As a result of the supervisory inspection, the directors of the prisons are given feedback on what was detected during the supervisory inspection and, if any errors were discovered. In case of errors a deadline for correcting them is given. During the supervisory inspections, the compliance of a specific work section with the provisions of legislation and the agreed SOPs is assessed. The supervisory inspection is one way of assessing the work of the director of the prison.
The operation of the Latvian Prison Administration (hereinafter – LPA) Central Office and prisons is determined by Prison Administration Law, Prison Administration Statute, Prison Administration Regulations and regulations of structural units, as well as internal and external normative acts. Employees of LPA Central Office and prisons perform their work and service duties in accordance with the duties specified in job descriptions. In order to ensure a united fulfilment of duties in all prisons, LPA Central Office issues internal normative acts that determine the processes to be performed in prisons and Central Office.Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
Compliance with LPA rules/policies/procedures is the responsibility of the head or manager of the structural unit to whom the employee is subordinate.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
Internal audit in prisons is conducted by the employees of LPA Central Office and the Latvian Prison Hospital, while external audit is conducted by Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Justice and the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia.Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
LPA has developed a specific internal audit/inspection methodology. The employees of LPA Central Office and the Latvian Prison Hospital perform audits in prisons within each quarter (in accordance with the schedule of prison audits approved by the Director General of LPA). The LPA has developed inspection/audit forms with rating factors from 1 to 10. If deficiencies are found during the audit, the auditor describes them in the fill-in form of units (processes) to be audited and sets the deadline by which the prison must eliminate the deficiency. After collecting all audit fill-in forms, a plan for correction of deficiencies is set up. The head of the prison is obliged to provide information on eliminated deficiencies by submitting it to the head of LPA within 10 working days after the expiration of deadline for the elimination of deficiencies.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
During prison audits, employees of LPA Central Office and the Latvian Prison Hospital make recommendations and provide practical assistance to prison employees. Recommendations are not the part of Key Performance Indicators KPIs.
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The Swedish Prison and Probation services has a suite of Rules and Policies that are supported by Standard Operation Procedures for prisons to comply with. There are national rules and policies that are applicable to all entities addressing different areas such as health and medical care, security, laws and legal matters, administration and human resources. As a compliment to the national rules and regulations local managers are required to generate policies and guidance on duty performance that are customized to each specific entity.Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
Local managers are responsible for following up the compliance to rules and regulations among the members of staff. Everyone is obliged to read and become familiar with what is valid for each position and entity. The Rules and Regulations are updated on an annual basis to follow changes in law or other circumstances that might affect the way of performing a task.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
The Internal Inspection Section audit follow up the compliance to Policies at all entities. Every entity will be subject to an inspection in every three years and the inspections are carried out at the local entities. Auditing a prison is a cohesive inspection, including different fields of activity, such as health-care, security, human resources and laws and legal matters. The results of the inspections will guide us to recognize fields and activities in need of improvement and further development. The evaluation criteria are compliance, quality, efficiency and risk. The Internal audit is an independent part of the Swedish Prison and Probation service and follow the Internal Audit Regulation. Their inspections are based upon risk analyses and aim to assess the quality of command and control in order to see that regulation of authority on a national level. The inspections are thematically throughout the organisation. The Parliamentary Ombudsman carries out external inspections. Due to complaints, the Parliamentary Ombudsman will as an externa and objective part review the reason for the complaint from a legal point of view and criticize when justified. When inspecting an entity due to complaints, an utterance from the Prison and Probations Service is always requested. The Parliamentary Ombudsman also has the possibility to initiate and conduct a review within a certain legal area without received complaints.Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
The Internal Inspection Section use standards audit template. The inspections are carried out at the local entity and consist of semi-structured interviews, observations and journal review. Both the interviews and journal reviews are based upon questionnaires in each inspected area to make sure that the same questions are asked when inspection different entities. The questionnaires are revised on regular basis to make sure that they are up to date and follow laws and regulations.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
The recommendations made by the Internal Inspection Unit can be directed towards both local managers and HQ. The inspection report is handed over to the management of the prison, detention centre, probation office or transportation unit that has been inspected. Based on the report and idenitfied gaps, action plans for improvement and development are established. Observations and recommendations can also affect the Prison and Probation Service on a national level, such as requesting changes in internal standards and regulations or identifying areas for development, nationally. The Internal Inspection Unit deliver an annual report each year where the results from the inspections are presented. The report is a part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs.
Yes, our organisation has clear policies, which detail a range of clearly defined security procedures. DG EPI is the entity through which security procedures and policies are established. Prison directors implement and control what DG EPI generates.Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
Prison directors are responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed within their institutions.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
The verification of security procedures and policies is the responsibility of the hierarchy of each prison establishment. At the DG EPI level, a new service, the Integral Safety Directorate, is being developed to monitor the operations and malfunctions of security procedures. In the event of a major incident, this management will go to the prison to conduct an analysis and advise for improvement paths.Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
DG EPI does not have standardized tools, but other services within or outside the Justice Department may carry out audits according to their own methodology.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
The Swiss Centre of Expertise in Prison and Probation has collected answers to the six questions from four prisons, two in the French-speaking (Prison 3 and Prison 4) and two in the German-speaking part (Prison 1 and Prison 2). Given the federalist landscape in Switzerland, practices differ from one canton to the other (there are 26 cantons) and from one institution to the other. The 26 cantons are organised in three concordats when it comes to prison and probation matters. These concordats play an important role for the cross-cantonal harmonization of practices, and they emit directives and guides. All four prisons report having rules and policies as well as SOPs. These come in the form of directives, guides, pamphlets, or check-lists. They allow for harmonization of practices and for legal checks and balances on the actions of staff. They concern in particular the domains of “Security and order”, “prison management”, “care and welfare”, “human resources” and “high-security sector” (Prison 2). They are informed by national laws as well as soft law (NMR for example) (Prison 1). They also have to take the directives of the cantonal authority in matters related to prison and probation into account (Prisons 2,3 and 4). Sometimes, they are issued by the cantonal office but after consultation of the prisons in the canton. All four prisons report being responsible for the writing and updating of the SOPs, and for the training of those among staff members. Two prisons (3 and 4) report having the possibility of issuing “service orders” which are used to train staff and which have to be signed by staff members individually. Prison 2 provides more specific information on the procedures: “The facility's house rules are a central document and must be validated by the head of office (canton), including any modifications thereof. While the directive sets the general mission, a guideline delves more into the action level. In some cases, photo procedures and checklists are also available. The manual with all directives comprises 700 pages. The training of correctional staff is carried out by an experienced staff member or by the security instructor as part of the induction. The facility has an induction checklist, every single point is listed in it. New employees must carry out each instruction twice.”Who is responsible for compliance with your Rules/Policies/Procedures?
All prisons report that the monitoring of the compliance with the SOPs lies in the competence of the respective sector (and head thereof), but the director of the prison is ultimately responsible. The director is also responsible for verifying that staff are following the training updates.Does your service audit compliance with such Policies and/or SOPs, and are such audits conducted by your service (internal) or by contracted (external) auditors?
All prisons report having internal control mechanisms: Prison 1 has a quality management with an internal evaluation (which includes making sure the SOPs are up-to-date). Prisons 3 and 4 have yearly interviews with staff members to discuss compliance with SOPs (if there are issues, training is imposed on concerned staff members). However, Prisons 1, 3 and 4 do not have certification and therefore no external audit. Prison 2 has an ISO-certification for certain procedures, especially concerning the management of the prison (ISO 9001). There is a yearly audit and there are rarely recommendations following the audit. All other SOPs are verified yearly by the respective sector. There is also an internal control system (IKS), but mainly for accounting, there is a separate audit.Does your service have a bespoke audit methodology or standard audit template?
Prisons 3 and 4 report having a bespoke questionnaire for the yearly evaluation, but no audit template. Prison 1 reports having no template. Prison 2 has a template and standard procedure for the examination of the ISO-9001 certificate. There is also a monthly reporting which provides information on the number of incidents involving detainees, disciplinary sanctions, number of transportations, staff absence, number of urine tests, etc. The report is 16 pages long.Does your service make recommendations to managers and/or to your service HQ based on audit observations and are such recommendation part of Prisons and Directorates Key Performance Indicators KPIs?
Prison 1 reports that KPI exist and that they are evaluated in the internal quality control. The National commission on the prevention of torture has also done irregular checks and provided recommendations. Prison 2 receives recommendations after the audit of the ISO-9001. They are mainly directed at the head of office at the level of the canton which has to decide on actions to take regarding the different prisons in the canton. Usually, there are no recommendations. Regardless of the audit, this prison receives indicators for goals (for example 0 escapes, 100 urine tests, etc.) and has to adapt the internal procedures and sometimes the SOPs to achieve these goals. They are accounted for in a quarterly report at the cantonal level. Prisons 3 and 4 also report receiving KPIs from the cantonal office. They are evaluated using interviews, based on which decisions are taken for the annual budget (material, training, human resources, etc.). If goals are not achieved, the issue is analysed, reported on and, ideally, remedied.
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This content is only available to registered members of EuroPris.