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HMP BRIXTON Prison Regime Info


Jebb Avenue Brixton SW2 5XF image of HMP BRIXTON prison

Phone No.

020 8588 6000

Governor / Director

Edmund Tullett


Male Cat. C



Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Mostly double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Amanda Williams
Vice Chair: Anne Rogers

Visitor Info Page

HMP BRIXTON Visitor Info
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Brixton has been recategorised as a category ‘C’ prison. It is now a resettlement prison and houses a mixture of category ‘C’ and ‘D’ prisoners in five wings including a drug recovery wing and a vulnerable prisoners’ wing. It has long been known for its poor environment and limited regime.


Information below refers to its former role and is subject to change as the prison adjusts to its new role. As we get further information we will up-date.


There are about 30% foreign nationals,

The original buildings date from 1819. In 1862 the prison was sold to the Government and converted into a prison for females. Twenty years later it was again converted, this time as a military prison, and in 1898, when it was returned to the Prison Commissioners, the buildings were enlarged and improved and made the trial and remand prison for the whole of the London area. The prison now serves a number of courts in South London and houses a mixture of remand and sentenced prisoners.


  • A wing houses 264 prisoners in 143 cells (mostly doubled, 1 for disabled),
  • B wing houses prisoners in 86 cells some doubled.
  • C wing houses prisoners in 69 cells (all doubled, 1 for disabled), and operates primarily as a first night centre and VP unit.
  • D wing has a 26 bed in-patient facility concentrating on acute mental health care.
  • G wing houses prisoners in 151 cells, 61 doubled, 1 for disabled, and cares for those with substance misuse issues. The prison currently runs Substance Misuse interventions from G wing which operates as part of the national IDTS scheme.

Reception Criteria
HMP Brixton's primary role is to serve the local magistrates courts, Inner London and Southwark Crown Courts, holding remand and trial prisoners committed to these courts. Convicted prisoners have an initial interview and are then categorised and allocated to another prison with facilities appropriate to that sentence and prisoner's needs.


  • Own bedding (Subject to status)
  • Own clothes (Standard & Enhanced)
  • Playstation (Enhanced only)
  • Television (50p per week)

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Mon: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Tue: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Wed: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Thu: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Fri: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Sat: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00
Sun: 08:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00


Each residential block has morning or afternoon Association sessions but there is no evening Association

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There is no sports field but Brixton has an Astroturf area.

Sports available include;

  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Over 50s
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Training

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1 hour twice a week.

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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 Brixton is: Phil Chadder

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

Facilities for: Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Mormon, Orthodox Christian, Quakers, Sikh

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Healthcare services are delivered by a consortium led by Care UK, including the South
London and Maudsley NHS FoundationTrust (SLaM), with pharmacy and other services
provided by Lambeth Community Health, and dental services by Weymouth Group.


NHS Lambeth (the Primary Care Trust) is the commissioner and holds the contract with Care UK, which was recently extended to 2013.


Visiting Specialists

  • CPN
  • Dentist
  • InReach
  • Optician
  • Physio
  • Podiatry
  • Stop Smoking

Nearest Hospital

Kings College Hospital

Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS

Tel: 020 3299 9000
2 miles


NHS Healthcare Information for Brixton

Prison Healthcare Manager: Mr Taps Mutakati

Tel: 020 8588 6119


Offender Health Commissioning Manager
Loraine Rossati
Mental Health & Adults Team, Strategy & Services Directorate, NHS Lambeth
Tel: 020 3049 4261


If anybody has comments or complaints about healthcare at HMP Brixton they should contact Ms Rossati directly.

PCT: Lambeth Primary Care Trust
London 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
These contact details are just for PALS.
Please DO NOT send confidential or other patient information to this contact address.


Monday-Friday, 09:00 -17:00
Tel: 0800 587 8078
Fax: 020 3049 4355
Email: pals@lambethpct.nhs.uk

Lambeth PALS,
1 Lower Marsh,
SE1 7NT.

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

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Kensington and Chelsea College
Hortensia Road, London SW19 0QS
Tel: 020 7573 3600

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
Prospects Services Ltd
Prospects House, 19 Elmfield Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 1LT
Tel: 020 8315 1500

Most courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications. All take place in a newly refurbished Learning and Skills centre.

Classes available include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Computer Studies
  • English
  • Key Skills
  • Language
  • Life and Social Skills
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Numeracy
  • Open University



OFSTED inspect education establishments from schools to colleges to prisons. They inspect education facilities within prisons and have inspected HMP Brixton.

Inspection judgements
Inspectors use a four-point scale to summarise their judgements about achievement and standards, the quality of provision, and leadership and management, which includes a grade for equality of opportunity.

Key for inspection grades

  • Grade 1 Outstanding;
  • Grade 2 Good;
  • Grade 3 Satisfactory;
  • Grade 4 Inadequate.


Click Here for further information on how inspection judgements are made.


Scope of the inspection
In deciding the scope of the inspection, inspectors take account of the provider’s most recent self-assessment report and development plans, and comments from the local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) or other funding body. Where appropriate, inspectors also consider the previous inspection report , reports from the inspectorates’ monitoring visits, and data on learners and their achievements over the period since the previous inspection.


Last inspection: 28/04/2008


Summary of grades awarded

Effectiveness of provision: Grade 2
Capacity to improve: Grade 2
Achievement and standards: Grade 2
Employability training: Grade 2
Literacy, numeracy and ESOL: Grade 2
Personal development and social integration: Grade 2
Quality of provision Good: Grade 2
Employability training: Grade 2
Literacy, numeracy and ESOL: Grade 2
Personal development and social integration: Grade 2
Leadership and management: Grade 2
Equality of opportunity: Grade 2

To read their report click here.

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There are no traditional workshops.

Employment available includes;

  • Catering
  • Laundry
  • Sports Studies

Accredited vocational qualifications are available in;

  • Art and Computer Graphics
  • Health & Safety Training
  • Information and Computer Technology
  • Radio Production
  • Support/Advice and Guidance


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Literacy (Entry 1, 2 and 3)
Adult Numeracy
Award for Progression (Entry 3)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Communication Skills (Entry 1) (QCF)
Creative Craft using Art and Design (QCF)
Creative Craft using Textiles (QCF)
Developing Group and Teamwork Communication Skills
Developing Personal Development Skills
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Speaking and Listening) (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Speaking and Listening) (Entry 3)
Graphic Design
Introduction to Personal Budgeting and Money Management (Entry 3)
Introduction to Teamwork Skills (Entry 3)
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Problem Solving
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
OCN Entry Level, PW B, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW C, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)
OCN Level 2, PW C, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)
Personal Budgeting and Money Management
Progression (Entry 3) (QCF)
Progression (QCF)
QCF provision - Entry Level, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW A
QCF provision - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
Radio Production
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - ESOL
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Literacy
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Numeracy
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Literacy

Unitisation (approved external qualification) Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Numeracy



Current Wages


Employed: £3.15 - £25.00
Education: £1 per session
Retired: £3.50
Long term sick: £3.50

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  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Drug Awareness
  • Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
  • P-ASRO
  • Self-Injury Groups
  • Short Duration Programme (Drugs)
  • Short Motivational Package

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  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Electric Radio Brixton
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • New Bridge
  • PACT (Prison Advice & Care Trust)
  • St. Giles Trust


  • Job club
  • Job Centre+


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Between 5 years and 16

No of Visitors Permitted

At the discretion of the organiser

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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: 17.1 (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: £18,700,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £38,527

*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: Chuka Umunna (Labour)

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


Local Authority
London Borough of Lambeth
Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RW
Tel: 020 7926 1000

Click Here for link

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
The nearest Trading Standards department is at:
Trading Standards, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RW
Tel: 08454 04 05 06
Click Here for link

Trading Standards can help with problems with purchases such as weights and measures, ‘best by’ dates, pricing & faulty goods.



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.


Prison Video Link (PVL)
All prisons with video link facilities have at least one courtroom and two briefing rooms where the defendant can hold a conference with their solicitor before and, if required, after their court hearing.

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: 020 8588 6000 ext 6165

Monitoring and Inspection
Prisons Inspectorate
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: June 2013

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