|St Loyes Street Bedford MK40 1HG|
Governor / Director
|East of England|
|Single, Double and Multiple|
First Night Centre
Chair: Christopher Padfield
Vice Chair: Annie Gardner
Visitor Info Page
|HMP BEDFORD Visitor Info|
|Navigate this page||General | Unlock & Association | Sport | Library | Faith | Healthcare | Education | Employment | Offending Behaviour Courses | Resettlement | Additional Information|
Online Library documents for HMP BEDFORD
Bedford is a category ‘B’ local male prison/young offenders institution which serves the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire courts. It was built in 1801, enlarged in 1849 and further enlarged in the early 1990s. It has 6 wings ranging from old Victorian radial style to modern house blocks, a first night centre and a modern healthcare unit.
Bedford has been on its current site since 1801. It was enlarged in 1849 and a new gate lodge, house block and health care centre added in early 1990s.
Bedford takes sentenced and remand prisoners from Luton Crown Court and Bedford and Luton Magistrates’ Courts as well as sentenced prisoners received on overcrowding drafts from London.
Normal reception arrangements. Bedford accepts adult male prisoners remanded into custody from Luton Crown Court and magistrates' courts in Bedfordshire.
Agencies and Contractors
A large number of different agencies provide courses and services to the prisoners including:
Mon: 08:20 - 12:30 & 13:55 - 17:30
Bedford runs a split regime so Association will vary between morning and afternoon for each session.
Each session is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
HEALTH & SPORTS
Sports available include;
The library has a large collection of books in some 40 different languages for the use of foreign national prisoners.
Every prisoner has use of the library at least once a week; many twice. A new timetable from October 2009 opens the library for longer, giving prisoners longer periods in the library, and enabling the Librarian to take books to prisoners in the Health Care Centre and to other prisoners who cannot access the library.
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 Co-ordinating Chaplain at Bedford is: Rev Sharon Grenham-Toze
Full-time Anglican Chaplain, Part time Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains.
Facilities for; Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Pagan, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Sikh
Prison Healthcare is now commissioned by NHS England:
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Link: How to make a complaint:
Complaints about Healthcare should be made first through the formal internal complaints system
There are seven Commissioning Trusts for ‘Offender Health’
East of England
Kent & Medway
Yorkshire & Humber
Healthcare at this prison is commissioned by:
East of England Health & Justice Commissioning
Primary Care Provider:
South Essex Partnership Trust
Trust Head Office, The Lodge, The Chase, Wickford, Essex SS11 7XX
Tel: 0300 123 0808
Primary Mental Healthcare
Secondary Mental Healthcare
Escorts & Bedwatches
Items in Green are not confirmed
Community Dental Service CIC - Dentistry
CAN, Westminster Drug Project (WDP) - Drug Treatment Services – IDTS
Northampton Hospital Foundation Trust (NHFT) - managed by county council
Key for inspection grades
Click Here for further information on how inspection judgements are made.
Last inspection: 02/03/2009
Summary of grades awarded
Employment and workshops include;
Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Art and Design
Art and Design
Artwork and imaging software Level 1
Artwork and imaging software Level 2
Basic ESOL Course, Entry Level
Basic Literacy Course, Entry Level
Basic Numeracy Course, Level 1
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Communication in the Workplace
Database software Level 1
Database software Level 2
Developing Information, Advice or Guidance
Developing Personal Development Skills
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Introduction to Aspects of Citizenship (Entry 3)
Introduction to Personal Budgeting and Money Management (Entry 3)
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
OCN Entry Level, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW B, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 1, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
Personal Budgeting and Money Management
Preparation for Work
Presentation software Level 1
Presentation software Level 2
Progression (Entry 3) (QCF)
Spreadsheet software Level 1
Spreadsheet software Level 2
Understanding Aspects of Citizenship
Understanding Diversity within Society
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Literacy
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Numeracy
Website software Level 1
Website software Level 2
Word processing software Level 1
Word processing software Level 2
Employed: £5.00 - £35.00 (per week)
Pay bonuses are awarded for accredited and non-accredited achievements.
OFFENCE FOCUSED COURSES
Bedford list no Offending Behaviour Programmes.
Family Days Available
Guardian Has To Stay
Age limits: Up to 16 years
Grandchildren are allowed if the prisoner is the only male carer.
Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 19.0 (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.
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £37,462
This prison is 68/124 on cost per prisoner (1 is highest cost)
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
You can contact the local authority on matters such as libraries, environmental health, trading standards, food hygiene, social services, education and electoral registration.
Trading Standards can help with problems with purchases such as weights and measures, ‘best by’ dates, pricing & faulty goods.
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.
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 20011-006
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.
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.
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.
EMAIL A PRISONER
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
Prison Video Link (PVL)
If court hearings are not taking place it may be possible for solicitors, barristers and Probation Officers to hold interviews with a prisoner via video link to save having to visit the prison.
The facility is also available to assist the Parole Board in dealing with oral hearings.
It should be noted however that court hearings must take priority. At other times, operational reasons may mean bookings are refused or cancelled at short notice.
To book the Video Link facility telephone: 01234 373000 ext 179
Monitoring and Inspection
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) regularly inspects prisons and produces a report of their inspection with recommendations for improvements.
Click Here to download a guide to inspections
Click Here to visit our Library Section where you can download the latest inspection reports for all prisons
Independent Monitoring Board
Each prison has an Independent Monitoring Board made up of local people who visit the prison regularly to check on the treatment of prisoners. They produce an Annual Report.
Click Here to visit our Library Section where you can download current and earlier IMB annual reports
Click Here to download the IMB’s information leaflet; explaining who they are and what they do.
OFSTED, who check on teaching standards in schools also visit prisons and publish a report of their findings.
Click Here to visit our Library Section where you can download OFSTED reports for all prisons
Monitoring & Inspection
Our on-line Library has a special section containing information, reports and publications about the monitoring of prisons and related services.
Click Here to visit the ‘Monitoring and Inspection’ section of our on-line Library
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: January 2014
October 2014 Headlines
Koestler Awards 2014
Police visit National Prison Radio
Parole Board Update
The right to work
Month by Month - October 2014
Inside without Faith
Justice Select Committee
The longest Journey
Our own version of Islam is being blocked, fettered and stonewalled
For the love of cooking
Prison compensation unfair?
The Merchant of Venice
Raising learners voices
Ryan’s Prehistoric Pet
From over the wall
Appeals against conviction - conduct of trial lawyers
The absurdity of the Absconders Policy
Finding your voice in the recall process
New! Volume 5 of
is now available!
A collection of poems by prisoners of all backgrounds.
Availabe to buy from this site! Volume 1,2,3 and 4 are also still available and you can SAVE by purchasing bundles!
The Useful Services for Prisoners scheme from insidetime provides discounts, vouchers and other benefits from USP Group Members for Prisoners, their families and legal advisors. Click the image above to read more about it.
You can subscribe to insidetime Newspaper and get the paper each month delivered to your door!
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Inside Time has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.
All contact info for the Operations office and the Editorial Team.
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We have a number of external websites which you may be interested on our Links Page.
Everything you need to know about visiting people in prison; procedures, opening times, directions etc.
Comprehensive information about each prison regime; lock down times, facilities, healthcare etc.
*NEW* Detailed information about IRC - Immigration Removal Centres.
Various pages of information for help and support organisations and networks for those in custody as well as recently released. Also information for friends and family.
This grants and funding pdf document aims to meet the need of prisoners and ex-offenders for accurate, up to date information on the supplementary funding available to prisoners.
Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.
The Glossary of Prison Related Terms explains what all the acronyms and terms stand for with prison related matters. Includes links to external sites to further explain things.
We have produced many Prison Related Fact Sheets inc. Legal Fact Sheets, Parole Fact Sheets and Other related information.
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