Business Continuity Planning

A major emergency event such as an avian influenza pandemic, earthquake, fire or flood would have a significant impact on the Department for both offenders and staff.

The Department’s Business Continuity Plans are an essential tool to guide response and recovery from a major emergency. These plans will be reviewed during 2008 as part of a continuous improvement process and where appropriate, linked or combined with emergency management procedures.

Prison Services’ emergency plans will be subject to progressive review with a view to nation-wide standardisation. Good practice in one area or incident type will be transferred department-wide and supported by practical training. At the same time improvements will be made to the emergency plans for Community Probation and Psychological Services’ locations.

The risk of an avian influenza pandemic in recent years has strengthened the need for robust emergency plans to cover any type of emergency and current business continuity plans. The Department has improved its suite of pandemic plans and supporting resources following extensive involvement in the national pandemic Exercise Cruickshank in mid-2007. Personal Protective Equipment holdings of first aid kits, masks and hand-wash have been distributed to all frontline sites and the remainder pre-packaged ready for issue if a pandemic/health crisis arises. The focus for 2008/09 will be on training across the Department.