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HMP-YOI DRAKE HALL Prison Regime Info


Eccleshall Staffordshire ST21 6LQ image of HMP-YOI DRAKE HALL prison

Phone No.

01785 774100

Governor / Director

Paul Newton


Female Closed and YOI


West Midlands

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single with some doubles

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Kay Goodall
Vice Chair: John Sutcliffe

Visitor Info Page

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Online Library documents for HMP-YOI DRAKE HALL

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A closed female prison for sentenced adult and young women of all sentence types including lifers. Accommodation consists of 15 houses, most with single rooms. All rooms have courtesy locks and each house has a small kitchen, a laundry room and a television lounge. Having been changed from an open to closed prison the prison has a fairly open environment but staff/prisoner relationships have been described by prison inspectors as ‘varied’.


Drake Hall became a male open prison in the 1960s, but has been female since 1974. Most accommodation was re-constructed 1994/95. In January 2002, following erection of a perimeter fence, Drake Hall was re-designated from open to semi-open. It has, from March 2009, been re-designated a closed prison.


The IMB say;

The decision to change the status of Drake Hall from Semi-Open to Closed has been a primary focus for Security within the prison. Drake Hall is not a typical closed prison: ten years ago it was an open prison which then became “semi-open” through the construction of a secure fence and gate, but the regime within the fence remained as it had been with prisoners not locked in cells and wings but free to move about inside the fence. Physically nothing has changed with the move to closed status so Drake Hall is different from other closed establishments and certain rules relating to closed prisons are not appropriate.
“The requirement to check prisoner rooms as fit for purpose on a daily basis has been renegotiated to a weekly check and the need for daily roll calls has been renegotiated and has been incorporated into the timetabling system after every work changeover.”



Accommodation consists of 15 house units containing mainly single rooms, all fitted with courtesy locks.

Each house unit has a small kitchen, a laundry room and a television lounge.



Includes Incentives, education, workshops, training courses, farms and gardens, works department, gym. Special features, voluntary and paid outwork programmes, a listener scheme, and anti- bullying system are also available.

The prison works with prisoners in dealing with their offending behaviour through a comprehensive assessment of needs.

Programmes include ETS, Thinking Skills, Cognitive Booster Programme, and a Therapeutic Community, which helps prisoners address their substance abuse.


Prisoners on an open care plan are, if appropriate, located temporarily in a separate, two-room unit known as the Haven. This consists of a twin-bedded room with adjoining small sitting room and bathroom.

Prisoners can be accompanied by Listeners, including overnight if necessary.

Any prisoner in need of constant supervision will normally be located in the Haven, so they can be supervised by staff in or from the sitting room area.

The Haven can also be used in the evenings for prisoners to drop-in to talk to Listeners (who are there on a rota) and/or access the SAMS phone line.

The Haven – formerly a post room – has been decorated and furnished to resemble a ‘normal’ home.



In-cell power
Own bedding
Own clothes (all)
Pets (caged birds for lifers)
Playstation (Enhanced only)
Television (£1 per week - 50p in double cells)).
There are cooking facilities and fridges (fridge/freezer on Richmond for outwork prisoners)


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18:00 - 19:30


18:00 - 19:30


18:00 - 19:30


18:00 - 19:30


13:00 - 16:30


13:00 - 16:30


13:00 - 16:30

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Sports available include;

Circuit Training
Light Circuit Training
Over 40s
Soft Tennis
Weight Loss Programme

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The Library is run by Staffordshire County Council. It is open every day including Sundays and runs a Poetry Group, Storybooks for Mums and a Sunday Reading Group.

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Every prison has a Chaplaincy department managed by a Co-ordinating Chaplain and supported by admin staff, other Chaplains and ‘Sessional Chaplains’ (faith leaders who visit for specific services or sessions). The Chaplaincy is considered an important part of the prison structure. When a prisoner arrives at a prison they are usually seen by a Chaplain within 24 hours and are invited to register as a specific religion (if they haven’t already done so) and can change their declared religion at any time.

The Chaplaincy does far more than just pastoral care; they often are able to lend radios, musical instruments and typewriters; they may take part in Sentence Planning and are available as a ‘listening ear’ and are able, sometimes, to help with domestic problems. Most Chaplaincies run various courses and activities which may or may not have a religious theme. Every prisoner has the right to follow their religious practices and attend Chapel for services pertaining to their declared faith (even when segregated).

The Chaplaincy are able to organise faith activities for all main religions (as recognised by the Prison Service; this does not, at present include Rastafarian as a specific religion) and contact faith representatives to visit individual or groups of prisoners for the purpose of religious activities. The chaplaincy can also intercede on matters of religious dress, diet and artefacts. A full list of permitted artefacts can be found in the Glossary Section under Religious Artefacts.

You can contact the Chaplaincy by letter or by telephoning the main prison number and asking to speak to the Chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy works as part of the prison and cannot, therefore, guarantee confidentiality (they can explain this to you in detail). Prisoners can contact the Chaplaincy in person or by Application.

Chaplaincy Statement of Purpose (HMPS)
The Chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and religious traditions by engaging all human experience. We will work collaboratively, respecting the integrity of each tradition and discipline. We believe that faith and the search for meaning directs and inspires life, and are committed to providing sacred spaces and dedicated teams to deepen and enrich human experience. We contribute to the care of prisoners to enable them to lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.

The Co-ordinating Chaplain at Drake Hall is: David Howard

Full time Anglican Chaplain. Part-time Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains.

There are facilities for;

Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Mormon, Pagan, Pentecostal, Sikh

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Dentist Availability

One day a week

Optician Availability

Once a month

Physio Availability


Podiatry Availability

Once a month

Acupuncture Availability

In liaison with CARATS

Stop Smoking Availability

Yes, in liaison with Gym


Twice a week

InReach Availability

As required

The IMB say;

"The Healthcare Unit continues to offer a high standard of care, delivered by the new Head of Healthcare, assisted by a hard-working staff. Drake Hall have a full-time mental health nurse, a psychiatrist who visits fortnightly and an optician who visits monthly. The PCT also funds 10 hours of counselling per week and is looking to extend this.
"The dentist’s waiting list is still a main reason for our applications, with no cover for holidays or sickness."


NHS Healthcare Information for Drake Hall

Prison Healthcare Manager: Jackie Juszkiewicz
Tel: 01785 774100

PCT: South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust
West Midlands Strategic Health Authority

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS is there to help when you need advice, or wish to make a complaint. As a patient, relative or carer PALS provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns that you may have about any aspect of your NHS care.

The service aims to:
• advise and support patients, their families and carers
• provide information on NHS services
• listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries
• help sort out problems quickly on your behalf

PALS acts independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and where appropriate, relevant organisations to negotiate prompt solutions. If necessary they can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.

Contact Information

Tel: 01543 465106 or 01543 412929
Email: PALS@southstaffspct.nhs.uk

There is also a Dental Helpline for ALL NHS dental enquiries: 01702 226668

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The Manchester College
The Manchester College, Offender Learning Directorate, Fielden Compus, Burlow Manor Road M1 3HB
Tel: 0800 068 8585

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
JHP Group Ltd
Sutherland House, Matlock Road, Foleshill, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 4JQ
Tel: 024 7666 7891

Drake Hall has a 'Virtual Campus', which adds a new dimension to the way Education is delivered. The Campus comprises 8 computers with internet connection, which both prisoners and staff can use for distance learning and education & training; when used by prisoners the campus is supervised and internet sites are filtered for security as well as all keystrokes being recorded for monitoring. The Virtual Campus will became fully operational in January 2010.


Toe by Toe (peer to peer reading) has been introduced with a plan to extend it with the introduction, through the Library, of the 'Emergent Readers' and 'Advanced Readers' Groups


Classes include;

Basic education
Computer Studies
Key Skills
Life and Social Skills
Open University
Pottery and Cookery


OFSTED inspect education establishments from schools to colleges to prisons. They inspect education facilities within prisons and have inspected HMP-YOI Drake Hall

Last Inspection Date: 03/09/2007
To read their report click here


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Prison Workshops
Contract Services

Employment includes;

  • Catering
  • Gardening & Horticulture
  • Hair & Beauty.
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Sports Studies


Accredited vocational qualifications are available in;

  • Hairdressing - NVQ level 1,2 & 3
  • Beauty Therapy - NVQ level 2
  • Laundry - NVQ
  • Customer Services - NVQ level 2
  • Horticulture - NVQ level 1


Plus numerous Gym qualifications


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Advanced Creative Craft
Customer Service
Extended Creative Craft
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Foundation Creative Craft
Health and Safety at Work
Intermediate Creative Craft
Introduction to Using ICT Systems (Entry 3)
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 2
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 3
Key Skills in Improving Own Learning and Performance
Key Skills in Working with Others
NQF - Level 1, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NVQ in Beauty Therapy
NVQ in Hairdressing
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
Practical skills/crafts, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
QCF provision - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
QCF provision - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW C
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A

QCF provision - Level 3, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A


Current wage for employed

£10.00 - £30.00

Wage for retired / long term sick



£10.00 (£13.00 on Enhanced)

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Cognitive Self Change Programme (CSCP)
Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
Therapeutic Communities (eg Kainos)

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Job club

Job Centre+

In Training

Working out opportunitiesJob Bus

Help with CVs, college courses and Learn Direct


As a resettlement prison, Drake Hall encourages prisoners at the appropriate stage of their sentence to find work outside the prison.


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

0 - 16

No of Visitors Permitted

Not disclosed


Prison is a life stager


What Stage

Stage 2

Mother & Baby Unit


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Ministry of Justice Performance Rating for this prison: 3
This is on a scale from 1 (serious concerns) to 4 (Exceptional) and is worked out by the Ministry of Justice taking into account 34 criteria such as overcrowding, purposeful activities etc. A score of 3 is considered a good performance. Published quarterly.

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 32.9 (2010)
This figure is supplied by each prison to the Prison Service. Actual hours are usually dependent on activities etc. and should be taken as the maximum time either in workshops or education over a whole week.
Both of these figures are published retrospectively by the MoJ and HMPS and may have changed since the figures were published but they give a simple comparison between prisons.


Annual Budget: £7,700,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £42,257

*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.

Parliamentary Information
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Bill Cash (Conservative)

Prisoners may write to either their ‘Home MP’ or the MP in whose constituency their current prison lies.
The address to write to is:
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA



Most prisons now have PIN phones. Your relative or friend usually needs to apply to have your name and number on his/her telephone account. You will usually receive a call from the prison to check who you are and to ensure you are happy for them to call you. Prisoners cannot receive telephone calls.

There is no restriction on who prisoners can call except in the case of calls to journalists intended to be broadcast. In some cases child protection measures may mean extra checks on who they call.

Prisoners can normally make calls only during ‘association’ periods. Some prisons limit the length of time a call can last to avoid queues and people being disappointed. Prisoners’ telephone calls are very expensive; calls to landlines now cost 10p per minute and 37.5 p to mobiles (compared to 2p in a public phone box). In most prisons the phone calls can be listened to and/or recorded.

In general prisoners phone calls follow the same rules as for letters in as far as who can be contacted and what can be said. If the rules are broken the prison may terminate the call.

If a prisoner is newly convicted or transferred they should be offered an immediate ‘Reception’ phone call to tell you where they are. It may take a few days for numbers to be transferred or added.

When you write to a prisoner you must include your full name and address. In most prisons the letters are searched and can be read before being given to the prisoner.

You can write about anything but letters must not be obscene, name ‘victims’, or be a threat to discipline or security. Do not enclose any items with letters. Make sure you put sufficient postage to cover the costs (anything bigger than A5 counts as ‘large’). Prisoners can normally receive a ‘reasonable’ number of letters per week.

If you send greetings cards these should be of reasonable size and not padded or pouched. Do not send musical cards. If you are sending more than one card put them all inside one outer envelope, this saves postage. Remember to include your full details (you could put your details on a ‘Post-It’ note stuck to the card or include a letter which has your details).

Always put the prisoner’s full name and prison number. If the person has been moved their mail will be forwarded.

On conviction or transfer a prisoner should be given a ‘Reception’ letter to write to tell you where they are.
Prisoners are given a free letter each week to post out, they can send more, but at their own expense. Some prisons allow you to send in stamps.

You can send stamped address envelopes (address to yourself), for the prisoner to reply, to any prisoner in any prison.

Prisoners are not allowed to send you letters or information to be posted on social networking internet sites.

Remember all letters are opened and checked and may be read.

Full information about prisoners’ correspondence can be found in Prison Service Instruction 2011-006

You can usually send in photographs but in some prisons these must not include any image of the prisoner. Child protection measures may mean that some prisoners may not receive pictures of children, unless they are their own and were not ‘victims’. If you send pictures of children include an explanatory note identifying who the children are and their relationship to the prisoner.

It is not a good idea to send cash, this can get ‘lost’ in the prison. Prisons prefer Postal Orders, but you could send a cheque. Make these payable to ‘H M Prison Service’, write your name on the back and also the prisoner’s full name and prison number. Any money sent which is deemed to be ‘anonymous’ can be stopped.
Money you send is paid into the prisoner’s ‘Private Cash’ account and they get access to a certain amount (depending upon IEP) each week [currently £15.50 for Standard prisoners]. Include your full detail in an accompanying letter or note. It takes about a week for the money to be credited to the prisoner.

For full information about visits please refer to our ‘Visit Info’ section for this prison. Visits are very important to prisoners. At most prisons you may not give any item to the prisoner. Any items you wish to give them must usually be posted to the prison, and often after the prisoner has placed an ‘application’ for authorisation to have it sent in. The items which can be posted in are very limited. Check with the prisoner first and wait until they confirm that you can post it.

If there is a serious emergency - close family serious illness, death, or other reason you need to inform the prisoner immediately, you should telephone the main prison number and explain the problem to the operator who will transfer you to the appropriate person. If you are unhappy about their response redial and ask to speak to the Chaplaincy. Prison staff will not pass on general messages but only critical and very urgent messages. You should provide full details of the prisoner including their number.

Support and Advice
There are many very good charities and agencies who offer support and advice to people with family or friends in prison. We have a special section ‘Help/Support’ which has details and contact information for many of these. Do not hesitate or feel shy about calling any of these; they are there to offer support and advice.

This service operates at this prison. Email a Prisoner enables you to send messages to prisoners, in the UK and Irish prisons that operate the service, from any computer, without any of the hassles of writing and posting a letter, and it costs less than a second class stamp!

Your message is delivered to the prison within seconds so that it can be delivered to the prisoner by the prison staff in the next delivery.

It is free to sign up to Email a Prisoner and only takes a few seconds - all you need is an email address (EMaP can help you if you don't have an email address).

Once a member you will be able to send a message to any prisoner in the UK or Ireland, provided you know their prisoner number, from just 25 pence per message.

Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website


Story Book Dads/Mums
Story Book Dads/Mums operates at this prison.
The imprisoned parent records a story and a message which is then edited and enhanced using digital audio software and editors remove mistakes and add sound effects and music. Finally a CD is made, a personalised cover created, and the finished disc sent to the child. The whole service is free.

Click Here for more information

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP)

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales (HMI Prisons) is an independent inspectorate which reports on conditions for, and treatment of, those in prisons, young offender institutions and immigration detention facilities. They provide independent scrutiny of the conditions for and treatment of prisoners and other detainees, promoting the concept of 'healthy prisons' in which staff work effectively to support prisoners and detainees to reduce reoffending or achieve other agreed outcomes.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) is appointed from outside the Prison Service, for a term of five years. The Chief Inspector reports to Ministers on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons in England and Wales.

The Inspectorate’s programme of inspection is based on a mixture of chronology and risk assessment. Full inspections run on a five or three year cycle; all unannounced follow-up inspections run on a risk-assessed basis.

Full inspections
Prison establishments holding adults and young adults are inspected once every five years. Establishments holding juveniles are inspected every three years. This type of inspection lasts for at least one week. The Inspectorate collects information from many sources, including the people who work there, the people who are imprisoned or detained there, and visitors or others with an interest in the establishment. Inspection findings are reported back to the establishment’s managers. Reports are published within 16 weeks of inspection. The establishment is then expected to produce an action plan, based on the recommendations made within the report, within a short period following publication.

Full follow-up inspections
Follow-up inspections are unannounced and proportionate to risk. In full follow-up inspections inspectors assess progress made and undertake in-depth analysis of areas of serious concern identified in the previous full inspection, particularly on safety and respect.

Short follow-up inspections
Short follow-up inspections are also unannounced and conducted where the previous full inspection and their intelligence systems suggest that there are comparatively fewer concerns.

Escort inspections
Three escort inspections are conducted every year.

Pre-inspection visit

One month prior to each full announced inspection, an inspector will visit the establishment to plan the inspection and request a range of preliminary information. In addition, researchers will attend to conduct a confidential survey of a representative proportion of the prisoner population. Results from the prisoner survey are provided for inspectors prior to the inspection and constitute an important source of evidence.

The inspection
All inspections are conducted against the Inspectorate's published inspection criteria, 'Expectations'. Expectations' are based on international human rights standards, as well as Prison Service Orders and Standards, and over all issues considered essential to the safe, respectful and purposeful treatment of prisoners in custody and their effective resettlement.
'Expectations' is the document which sets out the detailed criteria HMI Prisons uses to appraise and inspect prisons. These criteria are used to examine every area of prison life, from reception to resettlement, including;

• safer custody
• health services
• good order
• work
• diversity
• resettlement

The concept of a healthy prison is one that was first set out by the World Health Organisation, but it has been developed by this Inspectorate, and is now widely accepted as a definition of what ought to be provided in any custodial environment. It rests upon four key tests:

• safety: prisoners, even the most vulnerable, are held safely
• respect: prisoners are treated with respect for their human dignity
• purposeful activity: prisoners are able, and expected, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them
• resettlement: prisoners are prepared for release into the community, and helped to reduce the likelihood of reoffending

Post-inspection action
Inspection reports are published within 16 weeks of the inspection. Prior to publication, the Prison Service (or whoever is responsible for the establishment) is invited to correct any factual inaccuracies within the report. The establishment is then expected to produce an action plan, based on the recommendations made in the report, within two months of publication. A progress report on the action plain is produced after a further 12 months.


Last Inspection by HMCIP: 31 August – 2 September 2010 - Unannounced short follow-up inspection
Report Dated: October 2010
Published: 22nd December 2010

They said:

“ Drake Hall is a public sector closed prison for adult and young women aged18 and above. At the time of our last inspection in September 2007, Drake Hall was a female semi-open prison. Its function changed in March 2009.

“ In 2007, inspectors found the performance of the prison was good or reasonably good in most areas although not sufficiently good in resettlement. In this short follow-up inspection, inspectors found that the prison had made good progress in implementing their previous recommendations and outcomes for prisoners were good or reasonably good in all areas.

“ The prison was generally a safe place with few fights or assaults. Although the number of self-harm incidents had increased since the last inspection, they still involved relatively few women. Drug use appeared to be low. Drake Hall was originally designed as an open prison and women appreciated the relative freedom of the environment.

“ In this context, inspectors found that formal disciplinary processes were used when informal measures would have been more appropriate and some punishments were excessive. Adjudicators were sometimes not sufficiently rigorous in their enquiries and quality checks were inconsistent.

“ Staff-prisoner relationships overall were varied and although most interactions we observed were good, some were poor. Many women did not believe they were treated with appropriate respect as responsible adults. The performance of personal officers had been a major concern at the last inspection. There had been improvements and personal officer entries in some case notes provided an excellent overview of the woman's stay at Drake Hall but others were perfunctory, sporadic or non-existent. The written applications process remained complex and confusing. Health services were satisfactory overall but we were concerned that the prison did not fully appreciate the importance that some women, often for cultural reasons, placed on their ability to see a woman doctor.

“ The physical environment of the prison was generally good and, although more needed to be done, two of the older residential units about which we had most concerns at our last inspection had had some repairs.

“ There was no overarching diversity strategy and some diversity strands, such as sexuality and faith, were not effectively addressed. However, race equality work had improved and women with disabilities spoke positively about the support they received. The disability liaison officer worked hard to identify and address the needs of older prisoners and those with disabilities but there were no formal care plans and so there was over-reliance on informal approaches to ensure these women's needs were met.

“ Drake Hall was a designated centre for foreign national women. Work with foreign national women had improved with the appointment of a full-time foreign national officer but needed further development. There was no plan to take forward issues identified in a recent needs analysis. Professional interpreting, particularly for confidential health issues, and translated written material were inadequate. The Hibiscus worker was a good resource.

“ There was a good amount of purposeful activity available. Women could spend much time out of their rooms and the grounds were a generally attractive area for exercise and recreation. There were reasonable opportunities for work and a good library and PE facilities. However, an up-to-date learning and skills strategy was needed, data were not used effectively to drive improvements and some targets in individual learning plans were not sufficiently clear. It was particularly disappointing that opportunities for vocational training linked to formal qualifications had decreased.

“ Resettlement work had improved. It was underpinned by a reasonable strategy that could be further strengthened by identifying the specific needs of particular groups of women among the prison's diverse population. The offender management unit was well established and the prison was a pilot site for the introduction of 'layered offender management' which aimed to ensure all women – rather than just those convicted of more serious offences – received appropriate levels of support and supervision to address their offending behaviour. In this short follow-up inspection it was not possible to examine the quality of sentence planning but offender management was now delivered more consistently and reliably than was the case previously.

“ There was suitable support to help women with housing, employment and money management on release. Working out schemes and release on temporary licence (ROTL) were used to support this. Work to support women in maintaining contact with their families had improved and a new visitors’ centre had been opened. However, more could be done to help women maintain contact with older children and other close family members, and the administration of visits needed improvement.

“ There was a good range of interventions to help women with drug addictions but there was a significant gap in support for women whose primary addiction was alcohol.

“ Drake Hall had improved since our last inspection and is producing reasonably good outcomes for prisoners. Work with foreign national women and women with alcohol problems stand out as areas where more attention is required. Overall, the prison could improve further by reducing inconsistencies in staff-prisoner relationships, and reducing over-reliance on some very effective and committed staff in some areas by underpinning their work with effective strategies and clearer policies.”

Nick Hardwick October 2010
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: September 2007 (Announced Full Inspection)

They said:
“Drake Hall is a ‘semi-open’ prison for adult and young women. Its population has fluctuated in recent years, both in terms of the numbers and kind of women held. At the time of the inspection, it held women serving from three days to life, a third of whom were foreign nationals for whom the establishment was supposed to perform a specialist function. Together with the slightly vague security category, this range of risks and needs posed a challenge for managers. Nevertheless, Drake Hall remained a safe, generally respectful prison, with plenty of purposeful activity, but with a need to focus more fully on resettlement.

“Drake Hall was a safe and relaxed place with low levels of self-harm, little evidence of bullying and remarkably low levels of illegal drugs for such an open environment. There was little use of force or segregation and there had been a decline in the number of adjudications.

“Staff-prisoner relationships were generally positive, although we received complaints about certain staff, and the personal officer scheme was underdeveloped. Accommodation was mostly clean and of good quality, but two elderly units were in need of replacement. While race issues were satisfactorily managed, a clearer focus on the wider diversity agenda was required. In particular, it was surprising that with such a large foreign national population, too little attention had been paid to their needs – something we have criticised in previous inspections.

“Prisoners spent plenty of time out of their rooms. They were able to participate in some good learning and skills provision, although this needed to be better planned to address more fully the needs of all prisoners. There was a wide range of work and training, but allocation was unsystematic and some jobs were of poor quality. Library and physical education resources were good.

“Although resettlement outcomes appeared reasonable, this was undermined by the lack of an adequate strategy based on a proper analysis of the risks and needs presented by the diverse population – particularly the sizeable foreign national population. There was also a backlog in sentence planning, weaknesses in case management and insufficient multidisciplinary input into the nascent offender management arrangements. Nevertheless, for the majority of women, sufficient interventions were available, together with reasonable reintegration services and good drug services, including a well-run therapeutic community.

“Drake Hall is in many ways an impressive establishment, which provides a safe and respectful environment and offers plenty of purposeful activity. However, it is disappointing that, as in previous inspections, we found that the prison had not adequately addressed the needs of its large foreign national population, or developed the level of expertise in this area that should be expected, given its designated specialist function. The establishment’s resettlement function also needed greater clarity and better strategic management. However, these weaknesses should not obscure the fact that overall there was much to commend.”

Anne Owers November 2007
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Click here to read the full report (Large File)


Independent Monitoring Board

By law every prison and immigration removal centre must have an Independent Monitoring Board. IMBs in prisons derive their responsibilities from the Prison Act 1952 (Section 6). Prison Rules dealing with IMBs are numbers; 74 to 80

IMBs were known as ‘Boards of Visitors’ and are still referred to in the legislation under their old titles, although this is likely to change in the near future.

The Independent Monitoring Board for each establishment is made up of independent and unpaid volunteers from the local area. They monitor the day-to-day life in the establishment and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. Members have unrestricted access to all areas of the prison at all times and can talk to any prisoner they wish, out of sight and hearing of a members of staff. They visit all areas such as; kitchens, workshops, accommodation blocks, recreation areas, healthcare centre and chaplaincy.

If a prisoner or detainee has an issue that they have been unable to resolve through the usual internal channels, they can place a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. Problems might include concerns over lost property, visits from family or friends, special religious or cultural requirements, or even serious allegations such as bullying. In addition, if something serious happens at the prison, for example a riot or a death in custody, IMB members may be called in to attend and observe the way in which it is handled.

IMB members sample food, can attend adjudications and should visit people held in the segregation unit. They must also be kept informed on such issues as the use of restraints.

The IMB meets regularly, usually once per month, and has an elected Chair and Vice Chair. Members work together as a team to raise any matters of concern and to keep an independent eye on the prison.


CLICK HERE - to read the latest IMB reports for any prison.
Click on the year and then select the prison.

Information in this section has been kindly provided by the individual prison and the Ministry of Justice. This is supplemented with information from various government websites, Inspectorates and IMB reports and specialist departments within the Prison Service, government, and regional assemblies/parliaments.
Some of the data is published retrospectively: IMBs/Visiting Committees publish their reports up to 6 months after the end of the reporting period and at different times throughout the year, HMCIP publish their reports up to 6 months after the inspection. Population and performance figures are the latest published but can be considerably out of date.
Please Note: Information is constantly changing: The information on our website is regularly checked but if you have additional information, or if you believe that any of our information is incorrect or any links appear to fail please click on ‘Contact’, below.
Before acting upon any information you are advised to contact the prison directly to ensure there have been no recent changes.
Last Update: March 2012


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Issue : December 2014

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December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
> A search for any trace of the governmentís Rehabilitation Revolution
> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
> Doctor Frankenstein and his monster
> Human Rights: truth and lies
> Scapegoating the undeserving poor
> Interview
> The first Miscarriage of Justice
> Month by Month - December 2014
> The 2014 Longford Trust Awards
> Is it all in the mind
> Time
> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
> Paperwork is the key
> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
> Insider Dealing
> Christmas Stories
> Christmas Messages
> Christmas Messages

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