User Voice - Only Offenders Can Stop Re-Offending

HMP Maidstone Scores High in MQPL Survey

The objective of the Measuring the Quality of Prison Life Survey conducted by the National Offender Management Service is to explore prisoner perceptions of their quality of life.

The questionnaire consists of 128 statements such as
'This is a decent prison' or
'We spend too much time locked up'

and participants are given the following options:
1. Strongly disagree
2. Disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
4. Agree
5. Strongly agree

The statements are divided into 21 themes.

Relative to other prisons, HMP Maidstone recorded a high score for the Personal Autonomy theme.

Extracts from the Findings in Context section from the draft report:

“The Governor explained that in conjunction with the charity organisation User Voice, substantial efforts had been made to introduce a democratically elected prisoner council which was in operation at the time of the survey and which afforded prisoners an avenue to air their views and to take part in identifying problems, suggesting solutions and thus being involved in the running of the prison.

“He described this as a successful exercise which directly involved a substantial proportion of the population, enabled staff and prisoners to work collaboratively, and addressed issues that affected all prisoners.

“Hence, he suggested, this was one of the significant explanations for prisoners at Maidstone having more positive than average perceptions of Personal Autonomy, referring to aspects such as
'I have no control over my day-to-day life here' and
'The regime in this prison allows me opportunities for me to think for myself'
(prisoners were relatively even more positive in response to 'You can keep your personality in this prison').

“He also suggested that this work was a major contribution to the high score for the Harmony dimensions, and if this were true for Personal Autonomy and Harmony then it could perhaps also apply to aspects of other dimensions such as Bureaucratic Legitimacy and Personal Development.”