IMPROVEMENTS have been made at HMP North Sea Camp but more prisoners are living in 'extremely cramped conditions' says an unannounced inspection report.
Last inspected in 2009, inspectors reported at the time that prison accommodation was badly in need of refurbishment.
The latest report highlights progress in key areas of safety, purposeful activity and resettlement but concerns remain over the buildings and conditions in the light of significant change in its population.
Although the overall look of the accommodation has been much improved by the replacement of exterior cladding, new roofing and double glazed windows more needs to be done to improve the interior, it says.
Chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said: "The isolated location of North Sea Camp, along with the poor state of the built environment, undoubtedly create barriers to what can be achieved there. Nevertheless, it continues to fulfil its function as an open prison relatively successfully."
Positive findings in the report include:
low levels of violence and self-harm;
relationships between officers and prisoners remain good;
the number and range of accredited courses had increased, classroom attendance had improved and course completion rates were good. But inspectors were concerned to find no progress had been made in developing work on diversity, and given the significant increase in the population profile, this was seen as a key weakness.
Chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Services Michael Spurr said: "I am pleased that the chief inspector has noted achievements of the governor and staff at North Sea Camp in providing a safe, secure and purposeful environment despite the physical challenges the prison presents.
"The governor will work to use the recommendations in the report to build on the progress that has already been made and address concerns raised around the areas of diversity and resettlement."