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HMP HOLME HOUSE Prison Regime Info


Holme House Road Stockton on Tees TS18 2QU image of HMP HOLME HOUSE prison

Phone No.

01642 744000

Governor / Director

Jenny Mooney


Male Local


North East

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Linda Broadhead
Vice Chair: Vacant

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Online Library documents for HMP HOLME HOUSE

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Holme House is a large Category B Local Prison for male adult prisoners, remand and convicted: It also holds a small number of young men on remand (18-21). There are seven self-contained living units with single and double cells, all with integral sanitation. Vulnerable and elderly prisoners share a unit and there is also a therapeutic community. Time out of cell is good with plenty of regime activities.


HMP Holme House is a large purpose built category B local prison for male adult prisoners, opened in 1992, who are either remanded in custody or convicted. It can also accommodate a small number of young offenders, provided that they
are unsentenced.

It expanded in the late 1990s with the building of two further house blocks (HBs), providing 235 additional places. Two new workshops (57 places) opened in 1997. An additional HB (224 places) opened in April 2010, along with regimes building no. 1 (128 regime places). Regimes building no. 2 opened in August 2010 (175 regime places).

The prison primarily serves the communities of Tees Valley, South West Durham, East Durham and North Yorkshire.


  • HB1 Sentenced adults
  • HB2 Sentenced adults
  • HB3 Vulnerable prisoners and older prisoners
  • HB4 Unconvicted adults, IDTS, first night centre, induction
  • HB5 Sentenced adults
  • HB6 Therapeutic community Sentenced adults
  • HB7 Resettlement unit Sentenced adults

Therapeutic Community

Located on Houseblock 6 - a residential unit of 65 beds - this accredited drug programme is designed to target the needs of severe drug – misusing prisoners. This rolling programme can run for a period of 18 months.

Reception Criteria

Unconvicted and convicted male adult prisoners and unconvicted male young adults.


  • Own clothes (Remand)
  • PlayStations (Enhanced)
  • Full cell power
  • Television (£1.00 single / 50p double

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


Mon: 17:30 - 19:15
Tue: 17:30 - 19:15
Wed: 17:30 - 19:15
Thu: 17:30 - 19:15
Fri: 13:30 - 16:45
Sat: 08:30 - 11:00 & 13:30 - 16:30
Sun: 08:30 - 11:00 & 13:30 - 16:30

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Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Over 50s
  • Remedial. Indoor Bowls
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Sports field
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss programme)
  • Weight Training

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6 days 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 Holme House is: Terence McCarthy

There are full-time and part-time Anglican Chaplians, full-time and visiting Catholic and Free Church Chaplains and full and part-time Muslim Chaplains.

There are facilities for Sikhs and Jehovah Witness but none other present.

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NHS Healthcare Information for Holme House

Prison Head of Healthcare : Mrs. Elise Smithson
Tel: 01642 744018

Commissioner: North East Offender Health Commissioning Unit
0191 374 4138

Provider: North East Offender Health, Care UK
0191 3729936

Healthcare Services are provided by CareUK. Nursing, Pharmacy and support Healthcare services are provided directly by Care UK staff. Other Primary Care services are delivered by Care UK e.g., GP, Dentistry, Ophthalmology, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Mental Health services through the provision of a number of different sub-contractors.

Prisons are a community like any other and CareUK offers a wide range of comparative services, delivered in an appropriate setting by highly skilled staff. Clients are able to access varied services, including a comprehensive range of nurse led clinics, regular GP services, Drug & Alcohol interventions, Mental Health, Sexual Health, Chronic or Long-Term Conditions, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Optometry and Radiography.

In partnership with commissioning bodies, the needs of each individual establishment are assessed and CareUK work with customers to enable the delivery of quality, patient focussed care in a timely manner, which will improve health outcomes for all who access the service. We are proud of our track record in improving the long-term health of our customers and lowering rates of emergency hospital admissions.

Patients have access to healthcare facilities within either the Outpatient Department or the 16 bedded Inpatient Department. A specialist Palliative Care Suite is also located within Inpatients. Facilities are also located on each of the 7 Houseblocks.
Additionally Telemedicine, provided by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, is provided for a range of specialties. This enables prisoners to have planned outpatient appointments as well as urgent care from within the prison via video link.

We also actively promote healthier lifestyles through the provision of structured Health Promotion activities.

Any queries or concerns about Healthcare should be addressed in the first instance by contacting the Head of Healthcare.




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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)
A4e (Action For Employment Ltd)
Bessemer Road, Sheffield S9 3XN
Tel: 0800 345 666

Classes include;

  • Basic Education
  • Computer Studies
  • Cookery
  • Crafts
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Key Skills
  • Languages
  • Life & 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 Holme House.


To read their latest report click here

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Prison Workshops
  • Laundry
  • Printing
  • Textiles
  • Woodwork


The Prison Enterprise workshops consist of 9 individual work/training areas and offer up to 182 full time prisoner places based on a five-day week. The work/training currently on offer consists of the following:


DHL Canteen
A DHL warehouse operates within holme House processing canteen forms and Picking/packing for eight establishments in the North East. This provides employment for 40 prisoners and NVQ qualifications can be attained.


A large industrial Laundry processing work for both HMP Holme House and HMP Moorland. This workshop employs up to 60 prisoners on a full and part time basis. From February 2005 this workshop will also offer training in all aspects of the commercial laundry industry. Up to the industry standard SATRA Laundry Technicians Certificate.


A small busy woodmill producing a wide range of furniture and other timber products for both the internal and external market. Specialising in hardwood furniture.This workshop employs up to 30 prisoners and offers training in a wide range of wood machining and assembly skills including wood turning and spray finishing as well as the use of basic and powered hand tools. From March 2005 this workshop will provide NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations.


A compact workshop employing 30 prisoners assembling items of furniture, combined with a small upholstery unit providing an upholstery service to both internal and external customers. This workshop is involved in working with various charities. From March 2005 this workshop will also provide NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations.


This workshop employs up to 30 prisoners and offers training in all aspects of the garment cutting and sewing industry. Specifically in the production of prisoners clothing and bedding. This workshop will be offering NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations. There is also a small classroom offering Basic and Key Skills.

Large Print

Located within this workshop are an IT Skills Classroom offering a CLAIT qualification and a Large Print production area together offering 25 places, where the trainee can firstly learn to use a computer and then put these new found skills to use in providing a quality service to special schools and the other charitable organisations within our local area. The type of work includes transcribing children's books into large typeface for use by the visually impaired and the printing of Safety Guides and Engraved Signs for the local community. There is also a small classroom offering Basic and Key Skills.

Industrial Cleaning

This is a full time course based on Houseblock 6 offering the successful trainee a BICS's (British Institute of Cleaning Sciences) Certificate. The purpose of this course is to provide full-accredited training in all aspects of the Cleaning Industry and as a by-product to provide a cleaner, safer and more attractive environment for both prisoners and staff. The addition of a second party working outside the houseblock allows the trainee to gain valuable REAL work skills, using specialist cleaning equipment such as Pressure Washers, and Floor Cleaning machines.

CITB Painting and Decorating

This full time course can last up to 30 weeks and offers skills training to City and Guilds standard, alongside other qualifications (e.g. Workright, Open College Passport to Painting & Decorating). Successful trainees will be professionally coached in every aspect of the Painting and Decorating Industry ranging from Artexing to Wall Papering and beyond.

PAT Testing Workshop/Picture Framing

This workshop employs up to 12 prisoners and is split between the following:

   - Portable Appliance Testing (PAT):

This is a new service being offered to a charity organisation in order to test small electrical items donated by both businesses and the general public. The aim of this work party is to test the appliance for safety prior to it being sold to raise funds for charity. Training to a recognised qualification will be offered.

   - Picture Framing:

This small compact workshop supplies the Prison Service with Certificate Frames for all presentation occasions, and offers training in all aspects of the framing industry.

Accredited Courses Available within HMP Holme House

Skills for Life

  • City and Guilds Entry Levels 1-3, in Literacy, and Numeracy.
  • OCR Level 1 and above, in Literacy and Numeracy is offered on demand to higher-level learners.
  • City and Guilds ESOL at Entry Level 1-3 speaking & listening, reading and writing is offered via ESOL delivery. Provision is made for higher-level learners.


  • ASDAN Employability Qualification E3- L2
  • Changing Planet – Environmental Awareness
  • Graphical Reproduction
  • Greener Living
  • Horticulture
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • OCN Passport to Work (Level 1)
  • OCN Personal Development
  • OCN Preparation for Work
  • OCN Principles of Business Planning
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Upholstery
  • Waste Management


  • BICSc Assessor Award
  • British Industrial Cleaning Science (BICSc) Level 1 and 2
  • City and Guilds 6217 – Multi-Skills Construction
  • CSCS (Construction Skills) Card
  • Food Hygiene certificate (Food Handlers Certificate)
  • NVQ Food Preparation and Catering L1 and L2
  • OCN Customer Care L1 and L2
  • RSPoH Health and Safety at Work

IT/ Vocatonal IT

  • City and Guilds e-Quals (7266/01) Level 1 Certificate for IT users
  • City and Guilds e-Quals (7266/02) Level 2 Diploma for IT users
  • City and Guilds e-Quals (7266/02) Level 3 Advanced Diploma for IT Users
  • (03384) OCR - ITQ — Level 1 NVQ - IT User
  • (03385) OCR - ITQ — Level 2 NVQ - IT User
  • (03386) OCR - ITQ — Level 3 NVQ - IT User
  • OCN — Basic Computing
  • (05538)New CLAiT Level 1 Certificate/Diploma for IT Users
  • (05539) CLAiT Plus Level 2 Certificate/Diploma for IT Users
  • (05582) City and Guilds Entry level Certificate in using ICT (Entry 3)
  • (05569) OCR Entry Level Award in Initial Text Processing (Entry 3)
  • (04411) OCR Level 1 certificate in Text Processing (Entry 3)

Personal Development

  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Art Programme
  • Budgeting & Money Management
  • Citizenship
  • Cookery in a Domestic Kitchen
  • Creative Writing
  • Customer Care
  • Drugs Awareness
  • Group & Teamwork
  • Healthy Living
  • Improving assertiveness & Decision Making
  • Parentcraft
  • Personal Development
  • Prejudice & Discrimination


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Cleaning Operators' Proficiency Certificate
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
Diploma in Text Processing (Business Professional) (QCF)
Employability (Entry 3) (QCF)
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
NQF - Level 1, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW C
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW C
NVQ for IT Users (ITQ)
OCN Entry Level, PW B, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care (SSA 3)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)
OCN Level 1, PW B, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1)
OCN Level 1, PW B, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
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, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW C
QCF provision - Level 2, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7), PW A

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



Current Wages


Employed: £3.25 - £22.50
Education: £8.25
Retired: £3.25
Long term sick: £3.25

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  • Anger Management
  • Cognitive Self-Change Programme
  • FOR
  • Healthy Relationships Programme
  • Short Duration Programme (SDP)
  • TSP
  • Therapeutic Communities

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  • Citizens' Advice Bureau
  • Community Mental health
  • Construction Safety Card (CSCS)
  • Family Matters
  • First Aid at Work
  • Good Tenancy
  • Progress to Work
  • Routes to Employment
  • Sure Start




Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 18

No of Visitors Permitted

3 adults & 5 children

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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: 17.6 (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: £22,400,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £36,946
*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
CONSTITUENCY: Stockton North
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Alex Cunningham (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



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.

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 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].

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: 01642 744334 (Direct dial)

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: 19–23 July 2010 - Full unannounced
Report Dated: November 2010
Published: 9th February 2011

They said:
“ Holme House is a large, Category B, local prison which, at the time of the inspection, housed around 1,000 adult male prisoners and a small number of unsentenced young offenders. This was a challenging prison to run, and the challenges were exacerbated by a building programme that was in progress. Despite this, the prison delivered reasonably good outcomes for prisoners in all areas – a real achievement for a local prison. Many staff I met took obvious pride in their work.

“ The prison has expanded repeatedly over the years to cope with the growing prison population. Some facilities were excellent. The environment on some of the newer house blocks, such as house block 7 (which included a non-smokers wing), was very good. There was also am effective induction process for most prisoners run by enthusiastic and committed staff. I spent some time with the therapeutic community on house block 6, which was impressive.

“ It was pleasing to learn that the latest phase of the prison's development included new 'regime' buildings which had the potential to further enhance resettlement and purposeful activity programmes. Time out of cell was better than many similar prisons at an average of 7.4 hours and association was rarely cancelled. There was good quality training and education, underpinned by strategy. Resettlement activities were sound and the prison had developed excellent and innovative community links. Most of the resettlement pathways were delivered, or had the potential to be delivered, well, with the exception of accommodation services which were in disarray. Prisoners regularly raised concerns with inspectors about where they would live on release.

“ Against this largely positive backdrop, the prison faced some significant challenges. Drugs were a major issue, despite the prison tackling this robustly. At the time of the inspection, the random mandatory drug testing positive rate quoted was 18.7% against a target of 18%. We were told results had ranged from 12.7% to 26%. In our surveys of similar prisons, an average of 31% of prisoners say it is easy to obtain drugs in the prison in which they are held; that is bad enough, but in Holme House the figure rose to 41%. A disturbing 17% of prisoners in Holme House said they had developed a drug problem while in the prison. The inspection team were advised that many incidents of violence in the prison were drug-related and almost twice as many prisoners than in comparator prisons said they had been victimised because of drug-related issues. Measures to reduce supply needed to be matched with an equally determined effort to reduce demand. The national integrated drug treatment system had been recently introduced but there was a need for improved staffing and better coordination.

“ Violence associated with drugs was just one aspect of the safety picture in the prison. Most prisoners reported feeling safe but violence reduction measures were fragmented. Measures to prevent suicide and self-harm were mostly good. Levels of use of force were low. However, vulnerable prisoners felt much less safe than the population as a whole and it was clear to inspectors that not all incidents were identified and investigated.

“ Failures to pick up and deal with potentially violent incidents may have reflected the inconsistent nature of staff-prisoner relationships, which ranged from the excellent to the nonexistent. The personal officer scheme was poor.

“ Some services were poor. The laundry was chaotic, so prisoners were given back clothes that did not fit, were damaged or still wet. The kitchen was dirty and there was a risk of crossHMP contamination between halal and non-halal food. Most cells were in good condition but we saw some that were filthy.

“ Diversity provision was generally good with the exception of arrangements for prisoners with disabilities. There was inadequate care planning and recording of emergency evacuation plans. Shamefully, prison officers refused to push prisoners in wheelchairs.

“ Despite these concerns, Holme House delivered reasonably good outcomes in challenging circumstances for most prisoners. Most were kept safely and securely in decent conditions and were helped to reduce their risk of reoffending after release. However, a small minority of more vulnerable prisoners were not dealt with as positively, and the supply of illegal drugs in the prison is a threat that needs continued efforts to be tackled effectively.”

Nick Hardwick November 2010
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click here to read the full report

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: February 2013

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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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