As at the last inspection the weakest outcomes were in the provision of purposeful activity. The findings of this report in this area are as follows. Time out of cell was reasonable although some women were locked up during the day and could have been more purposefully occupied. The range of vocational training had improved and there were sufficient activity places for all those held. However, the quality of teaching and learning remained too variable and outcomes in the key area of functional skills needed to be better. Managers had to plan to address these deficiencies, but at this inspection we found that this issue had not yet been fully addressed.
In contrast, resettlement work had improved significantly. Excellent support was provided to women in maintaining contact with their family and friends, and also for those who had been abused, trafficked or who were sex workers. The prison had started to use release on temporary licence to support reintegration work, including for employment and family contact and relationship reasons. Public protection arrangements were robust. The new community rehabilitation company was still bedding in and we found some confusion about how they worked alongside Paratech resettlement staff. Nevertheless, support in the reducing reoffending pathways was generally strong although factors outside the control of the prison led to too many women being released without settled accommodation.
In general HMP Mayfield was a very good and improved prison. Outcomes for the highly complex population were at least reasonably good or better in all our healthy prison tests. The quality of respect and work to resettle prisoners was particularly strong. It is a credit to the very capable leadership within the prison, and the committed and motivated staff group, that the challenges they face continued to be met in such a positive encouraging way.