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HMP DOVEGATE Prison Regime Info


Moreton Lane Marchington Uttoxeter ST14 8XR image of HMP DOVEGATE prison

Phone No.

01283 829400

Governor / Director

Director: Craig Thomson


Male Cat. B


West Midlands

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: John Dawson
Vice Chair: Peter Donnachie

Visitor Info Page

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Dovegate is a male Category ‘B’ training prison, also holding remand prisoners. It is operated by Serco. Although having local prison accommodation it also holds long-term prisoners. It has three house blocks and special wings for vulnerable prisoners, IDTS and remand prisoners.


Built on a greenfield site in 2001 HMP Dovegate is a private prison run by Serco.

Inside a single perimeter fence are the Main and a Therapeutic Prison.

The main prison opened on July 9th 2001 and the Therapeutic Community on November 12th 2001.

A 5 Star Health and Safety Award was received in 2009.


Aall cells have in-cell telephones.

The Main prison consists of 3 House blocks.

Two house blocks have 5 wings built round the control “bubble”.

Each wing has 30 cells on 2 floors, 4 showers on both floors and a servery and laundry downstairs. There are tables and chairs as well as a pool table, exercise machines in the recreation area, plus an outdoor exercise yard.

With the exception of approximately 20 cells, which are larger and designed for double occupancy, the rest were designed for single occupancy and have in cell washbasin and toilet.

The third house block has 4 wings built round a control “bubble”. This house block has a dedicated drug treatment wing, and holds trial and remand prisoners. All wings have the same facilities as the other house blocks with the added exception of in cell showers.

The Therapeutic Prison (known as the TP) is separated from the main prison by an internal fence. The residents are accommodated in 3 house blocks which all have single occupancy cells with in cell toilets and showers, and in-cell telephones

Each wing has a servery and a laundry as well as tables and chairs, a pool table and exercise machines. Outdoor exercise is in the central square where there is a 5-a-side football pitch.

Reception Criteria

Cat B prisoners serving 4 years and over with 18 months left to serve, must not be in 9 month parole window, must have a completed OASys, no outstanding hospital appointments or court hearings. VP indeterminate sentenced prisoners subject to prior agreement by Senior Management.

Remand Centre:

Trial and Remand Facility for 130. Purpose built House block holding remand and un-convicted prisoners from North Staffordshire and West Mercia Magistrates and Crown Courts.

Therapeutic Community

This is a discrete facility located on the same site as Dovegate main prison and sharing some of the main prison services e.g. healthcare, and gymnasium. It has a CNA and operating capacity of 200.

  • No open ACCT for six months;
  • No Cat A or E list for six months;
  • No psychotropic or codeine based medication;
  • No positive MDT for six months;
  • More than 18 months to PED;
  • Volunteer for therapy.


  • Full cell power
  • Hobby kits during lockup
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • Own clothes (not Basic)
  • PlayStation (Enhanced)
  • Television


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Mon: 07:15 - 12:35, 13:30 - 16:50 & 17:30 - 19:45
Tue: 07:15 - 12:35, 13:30 - 16:50 & 17:30 - 19:45
Wed: 07:15 - 12:35, 13:30 - 16:50 & 17:30 - 19:45
Thu: 07:15 - 12:35, 13:30 - 16:50 & 17:30 - 19:45
Fri: 07:15 - 12:45, 13:30 - 17:00 & 17:30 - 19:45
Sat: 08:15 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 17:45
Sun: 08:15 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 17:45


Mon: 17:30 - 19:45
Tue: 17:30 - 19:45
Wed: 17:30 - 19:45
Thu: 17:30 - 19:45
Fri: 17:30 - 19:45
Sat: 08:15 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 17:45
Sun: 08:15 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 17:45

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There is a large gymnasium with a well- equipped weights room, CV Room and Virtual Life Fitness Suite. 1 Five a side football pitch and 2 Six a side Football pitches.

Prisoners on average attend 3 hours per week with a maximum of 6 hours dependant on location and regime.

A full qualification review is currently being reviewed, however there is currently a course run in association with the Education Department called ‘Social and Life Skills’

Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Remedial Sessions
  • Short Tennis
  • Table Tennis
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training

The IMB say: “The gymnasium has been enlarged and now instead of having one full-sized football pitch there are two small-sized Astroturf pitches in the main prison. Provision of exercise facilities is good and popular with the prisoners."



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The library is well stocked having over 6000 books which are normally rotated at the rate of 25% each year.

Prisoners have access to three computers in the library which they can use for open learning and word processing.

The library is open for evening and weekend access and all prisoners are allocated a weekly visit.

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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 Dovegate is: Vacant (April 2010)

Anglican, Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains
Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish, Mormon, Pagan, Quaker and Sikh Ministers.

Ministers from other faiths also visit Dovegate prison and besides the regular services and meetings held ALL major Religious Festivals are celebrated during the year.

There is a dedicated place of worship with Christian and multi-faith areas.

Services offered by the Chaplaincy Team

  • Opportunity to worship and take part in religious Services held in Chapel and Faith Observance Areas.
  • Help the Prison to celebrate special times of celebration and commemoration.
  • Pastoral support throughout the Prison for personal, moral and religious reasons.
  • Courses and study opportunities for those who wish to explore their spiritual journey and find out more. Also courses to help with social difficulties and shortfalls.
  • Help to monitor men in difficult situations within the Prison Regime.
  • Help in liaison with Prisoners and those outside.

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Serco Healthcare has a contract to provide healthcare at HMP Dovegate. Unlike Home Office prisons the local Primary Care Trust is not responsible for delivering healthcare at HMP Dovegate, but does provide support for clinical guidance.

The centre is open and operating for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is a G.P. on contract for 5 days a week. Agency staff cover weekends and any nursing vacancies. There is also a dentist and dental nurse 4 days a week and other support services are available as required e.g. a psychiatrist, a chiropodist, a physiotherapist, an optician and a GU consultant.

Any prisoners requiring more specialist treatment, or emergency treatment, are transferred to the local District Hospital.

Prisoners of 55 or over are offered screening for Bowel and Prostate Cancer.

Visiting Specialists

  • Acupuncture: CARAT
  • CPN: Four days a week
  • Dentist: Four times a week
  • InReach: Four days a week
  • Optician: Fortnightly
  • Physio: Three times a fortnight
  • Podiatry: Fortnightly
  • Stop Smoking: On request


NHS Healthcare Information for Dovegate

Prison Healthcare Manager: Nigel Sweeney

Tel: 01283 829400


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There is space for 317 prisoners to receive part time (17.5 hours per week) education in classes operating 5 days per week with evening classes every weekday. Activities range from basic skills to Open University. There is an option for prisoners to gain teaching qualifications through learning support assistant jobs. The library has over 6000 books which are rotated at a rate of 25% per year.

The education department offers vocational training including, painting and decorating, horticulture, building and electrical skills, industrial cleaning and performing arts.

Classes available include;

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



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

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 Date: 29/09/2008

To read their report click here

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Workshops: A wide range of industrial work including light engineering, packing and other manual activity. The employment clerk allocates employment during induction and a minimum of 12 weeks must be spent in each job before a change of labour will be granted. The average wage is £17.

Employment and workshops available include;

  • Catering
  • Electrics
  • Gardening
  • Horticulture
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Plumbing
  • Sports Studies

Accredited Vocational Qualifications available include;

  • NVQ Level 2 Performing Manufacturing Operators.
  • NVQ Level 2 Storage & warehousing
  • NVQ Level 2 Business Improvement Techniques.
  • NVQ Level 1 Customer Service


Current Wages

Employed: £2.00 - £3.50 per session
Education: £1.50 per session
Retired: £0.47 (retired) per session
Long term sick: £0.40 per session



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  • CALM
  • Therapeutic Communities
  • TSP

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  • Job Club
  • Self-Employment Classes


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 18

No of Visitors Permitted

No limit

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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: 31.0 (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.

Parliamentary Information
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Andrew Griffiths (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


Local Authorities
Staffordshire County Council
St Chad's Place, Stafford ST16 2LR
Tel: 0300 111 8000
Click Here for link

East Staffordshire Borough Council
Town Hall, King Edward Place, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire DE14 2EB
Tel: 01283 508000
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:
Staffordshire County Council, Trading Standards, Community Services, 14 Martin Street, Stafford, Staffordshire ST16 2LG
Tel: 08454 04 05 05.
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. Enclose a letter detailing who the PO/Cheuqe is for and who it is from.

  • Postal Orders; Make these payable to the prisoner's full name and number: Write your own name and address on the reverse.
  • Cheques: Make these payable to 'Serco Ltd'; and write the prisoner's full name and number on the reverse, plus your name and address.

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

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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