Go Back

HMP KIRKHAM Prison Regime Info


Freckleton Road Kirkham Preston PR4 2RN image of HMP KIRKHAM prison

Phone No.

01772 675 400

Governor / Director

Graham Beck


Male Cat. D


North West

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Kirkham does not have 'cells' but billets of 20 - 22 rooms

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Maria Desmond
Vice Chair: Janet Huddart

Visitor Info Page

HMP KIRKHAM 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 KIRKHAM

Search our Library for New Window/Tab

Kirkham is a category ‘D’ training prison occupying the site of a former RAF technical training centre. The general buildings date back to the 2nd World War but new billeted prisoner accommodation was built in the 1990s. There are twenty four billets plus a ‘Next Steps’ centre to promote independent living and reintegration, and an ‘Admissions Unit’. There are a large number of agencies and charities providing support for prisoners at different levels and a large number of local charities offer work to prisoners prior to release. Around 90% of prisoners are on Enhanced IEP level.


Kirkham occupies the site of a former RAF technical training centre. The facility was taken over by the Home Office in the early 1960's and has been in use as a prison since 1962. With few exceptions the infrastructure and services, together with the buildings, are of World War II vintage, though prisoner accommodation is relatively new.


Accommodation comprises of 24 dormitories of varying size. Every dormitory has its own telephone. 572 single room accommodation with own key, 9 rooms only are double occupancy i.e. 2 listeners suites and 7 double rooms in the ambulant dormitory individual own key. All rooms have Freeview TV access 3 dormitories have personal en-suite facilities inc showers. All prisoners have access to in-room TV.

There is wheelchair access to most ground floor areas

Reception Criteria
Normal reception arrangements. HMP Kirkham is a CAT D establishment and accepts all suitable prisoners who fit Kirkham's criteria (all are cat D prisoners who can reasonably be trusted to serve their sentence in open conditions). No medical condition which requires 24 hour care. There is wheelchair access to most ground floor areas.


  • Hobbies kits during lock-up
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • Own clothes (Standard & Enhanced)
  • PlayStation (Enhanced only)
  • Television (50p per week)

Back to top


Mon: 06:30 - 20:40
Tue: 06:30 - 20:40
Wed: 06:30 - 20:40
Thu: 06:30 - 20:40
Fri: 06:30 - 20:40
Sat: 08:00 - 20:40
Sun: 08:00 - 20:40


Kirkham is a Cat D prison and prisoners associate at all times after unlock.

Back to top


There is a very well equipped large Gymnasium with an activity based programme designed to meet all needs, impressive outdoor facilities being very well attended and popular. Courses are provided to those that are interested in various sporting activities. Kirkham also has a snooker hall and outdoor crown bowling green.

Kirkham Integrated Stroke Support (KISS)

The Sports Centre at Kirkham offers rehabilitative exercise and therapy to members of the local communities whose lives have been devastated by a stroke.

From small beginnings in 1994 the service has blossomed and now has over fifty clients who receive regular rehab care.

In recent years the group has grown and grown and we have had many successes with our basic exercise approach to the problem of post stroke care. The partners/carers of our clients also provide support and comfort for each other their notice board is full of useful contacts for all manner of care agencies, specialist equipment suppliers, holidays for people in wheelchairs and a whole host of other valuable support networks.

KISS is now a registered charity, and the group is constantly reviewing fund raising ideas in order to purchase equipment. The KISS programme is well recognised and respected by local NHS stroke units and GP's, indeed the majority of our referrals are directly from medical professionals.

Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Over 50s
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Sports Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training

Back to top


Monday - Thursday: 10:00 - 13:00, 14:00 - 16:00 and 17:30 - 18:45

Friday; 10:00 - 13:00, 14:00 - 16:00

Weekends; 10:00 - 13:00

Back to top


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 Kirkham is: Brian Mayne

Visiting Anglican, Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains.

Facilities for;

  • Buddhist
  • Free Church
  • Hindu
  • Jehovah Witness
  • Jewish
  • Mormon
  • Sikh

There is an attractive chapel with a multi-faith room.

Main services are Sunday mornings.

Programme of religious groups and meetings.

Back to top


A part time doctor and qualified nursing staff provide for the health needs of individuals.

Specialist Clinics

  • Dentist
  • Optician
  • Physio
  • Podiatry
  • Well Man


NHS Healthcare Information for Kirkham

Prison Healthcare Manager: Marie Cunningham
Tel: 01772 675 506

PCT: North Lancashire Primary Care Trust
North West Strategic Health Authority

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

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

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

Contact Information

Tel: 01253 655588/89
Email: mailto:pals@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk

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

Back to top


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)
Working Links
Head office: Unicorn House, Bromley, Kent BR1 1NX
Tel: 020 8212 8255

Kirkham works in partnership with a number of providers to provide learning and skills provision which supports employment engagement, literacy, numeracy and key skills in the development of social and life skills.

Such programmes are designed to reduce prisoners re-offending and assist in sustainable resettlement.

Kirkham's Education Department consists of classrooms in a purpose built building, with a well equipped computer room, training kitchen, there is an extensive curriculum covering basic skills to higher education, open learning courses and also a range of evening classes available.

Courses include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Clait
  • Computer Studies
  • Cookery
  • Crafts
  • English
  • Key Skills
  • Life and Social Skills
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Numeracy
  • Open University
  • Pottery

Vocational TrainingThis is provided by the learning and skills department offering City and Guilds and open college courses on site and at external colleges within Lancashire.



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


To read their latest report click here

Back to top


Prison Workshops


Kirkham Enterprises

Garden Enterprises

"The Kirkham Estate totals an area of 180 acres, of which the vast majority is made up of agricultural and horticultural land. This land is all farmed in such a way that meets all the cross compliance regulations and good agricultural and environmental conditions. The department is currently staffed with experienced craftsmen and employs in excess of 100 prisoners.

"Over 65 acres of this land is farmed on a commercial basis, including 50 acres of grassland for our livestock and a 10 acre vegetable plot producing a variety of crops such as calabrese, cauliflower, swede, onions, leeks, carrots and potatoes. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chillies, lettuce, and aubergines are also harvested from our 5 acres of protected cropping. These crops are then used for the prison kitchen and sold in our farm shop with all surplus supplies making their way out into the local wholesale market.

"A 25 acre conservation area which is of local biodiversity significance is managed in such a way to encourage as much wildlife as possible. Curlew, lapwings, and oyster catchers nest in the spring. We have created suitable habitats that have brought in tree creepers, great-spotted woodpeckers, nuthatch, goldfinch, buzzards, sparrow hawks and kestrels. Resident owls include tawny and little and 4 different species of bat can be seen. In the summer the meadows are filled with a large variety of flora including buttercups, sorrel, cowslip, pignut and wild grasses that attract butterflies such as meadow browns, commas, red admirals and small coppers. Roe deer, foxes and small reptiles have made our conservation area their home.

"In conjunction with the conservation projects we have a herd of rare-breed Longhorn suckler cattle. These animals are looked after by the longer term prisoners and they do have a very positive effect on their behaviour, confidence and sense of responsibility. Our cattle are shown each year by the prisoners at Westmoorland, The Royal, Royal Lancs, and Garstang shows. A number of our stock are sold each year at the Stoneleigh Park annual rare breed show and sale. The traditionally reared beef can be purchased through our farm shop.

"The amenity areas around the camp comprise of over 40 acres of ornamental gardens that are of a very high standard and which are maintained for the benefit of both staff and prisoners. Each year Kirkham puts itself  forward for the Windlesham Trophy, a competition that puts them up against every other prison in the country and in recent years have twice made it through to the last four.

"The waste management unit has recently been set up and recycles around fifty percent of the waste created by the prison, including cardboard, plastic, tin, glass, paper, metal, wood and clothing. This unit plays a major part in ensuring our prison sustainable development and biodiversity action plan is achieved and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems maintained."

Farm Shop

"All fresh goods grown on site, hand made garden furniture and much more."

Woodwork Enterprises

"Kirkham Enterprises is probably best known locally for its timber workshop. With a reputation for innovation within the Prison Service, Kirkham produces a range of high quality Iroko garden furniture. Garden furniture is only a small part of the range of timber products manufactured at Kirkham. Our timber grading workshop is accredited to British Standard ISO 9002."

Laundry Enterprises

"Kirkham Laundry started washing for private customers in 1995. The laundry washes over 16,000 items a week and caters for a wide range of washing, specialising in flat bed work (namely table and bed linen)."


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
First Aid at Work Certificate (certificate awarded by HSE approved organisations)
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Healthier Food and Special Diets
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 2
Key Skills in Communication - level 3
Key Skills in Improving Own Learning and Performance
Key Skills in Working with Others
Manual Handling - Principles and Practice
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW B
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 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NVQ in Hospitality
OCN Level 1, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
Preparing for a Business Venture
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

Using ICT (Entry 3) (QCF)


Current Wages


Employed: £8.00 - £35
Education: Paid at the current wage for their workshop
Retired: £3.25 / £3.75 / £4.25 (IEP based)
Long term sick: £3.25 / £3.75 / £4.25 (IEP based)

Back to top


  • A-Z Motivational Course
  • CALM - Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it
  • Domestic Violence
  • Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
  • P-ASRO
  • Thinking for the Workplace

Back to top


There is an emphasis on resettlement , good community links with extensive opportunities to carry out unpaid and paid employment with a number of partnerships with national and local employers, these provide placements prior to and on release.


Lancashire Probation Trust
Tel: 01772 684343

Fax: 01772 682855



Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

No limit. Family days not limited to children. Could be other relatives

No of Visitors Permitted

3 adults and 3 children

Back to top


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: 47.7 (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: £10,600,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £34,977
*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: Mark Menzies (Conservative)

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



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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website


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

Click Here for more information

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Escort inspections
Three escort inspections are conducted every year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Inspection by HMCIP: 30 November – 4 December 2009 - announced inspection

They said
“HMP Kirkham is a category D open prison holding adult male prisoners in low security conditions. When we last visited, we concluded that the prison was continuing to develop and improve as a resettlement prison. This full announced inspection found that this progress had been sustained and that Kirkham was now a very impressive open prison that properly balanced the inevitable risks it had to manage with a strong and appropriate focus on its resettlement function.

“The prison was a very safe place. Early days were satisfactorily managed and good use made of prisoners to induct their peers. Security was proportionate and effective, with very few absconds, no significant drug problem, and a healthy intolerance of poor behaviour and bullying. Those at risk of self-harm were well cared for. There was minimal use of force, but the segregation unit lacked normal procedural safeguards.

“Accommodation was clean and adequate. Staff-prisoner relationships were mainly positive, supported by an excellent personal officer scheme and an impressive prisoner-led advice centre. Diversity was generally well managed, but black and minority ethnic prisoners reported more negatively on their treatment than their white counterparts. `Overall, healthcare provision was sound, but we were concerned that poor communication between healthcare staff and those managing the integrated drug treatment scheme was putting patients at risk. Kirkham was a very purposeful and active prison, with plenty of good quality work and education. The numbers of prisoners working towards qualifications was much increased and achievements were high. There were also good library and PE facilities.

“The strategic management of resettlement and delivery of related services had continued to develop. Offender management and public protection were well managed. Release on temporary licence was thoughtfully and appropriately used as an aid to resettlement. There were some good services available along all the resettlement pathways. The one missed opportunity was the underuse of the impressive Next Steps Centre – the old intermittent custody facility – and this resource needed to be better utilised.

“Kirkham is an impressive open prison. It manages its risks well, focusing on safety, setting appropriate boundaries and confronting poor behaviour. Prisoners respond well, feel safe and the level of absconding has fallen significantly. Staff-prisoner relationships are good, supported by some of the best personal officer and prisoner-led advice work that we have come across. The prison is also very purposeful and active, with a wholly appropriate focus on resettlement. The governor and staff deserve considerable praise for what has been achieved.

Anne Owers February 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: March 2012

Back to Top


Inside Time Latest Issue

Issue : December 2014

Headlines | Mailbag | Poems
Book List | PSI Updates


Back Issues

Back Issues

View backissues and extras

Browse and Search Tools

View headlines by category
Search headlines | All headlines
Search mailbag | All mailbag
Search poems | All poems

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

About Us

About insidetime
Editorial Team

InsidePoetry Book

insidepoetry book New! Volume 5 of
insidepoetry book
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!

USP Service

USP from Inside Time

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!


Advertise your business or solicitors office to a highly defined target audience.

Other Publications

Inside Time has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.


Contact Us

All contact info for the Operations office and the Editorial Team.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insidetime site.

External Links

We have a number of external websites which you may be interested on our Links Page.

Social Networking


Inside Information


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.

insideinformation Book

insideinformation book
The insideinformation book

A comprehensive guide to prisons and prison related services, designed and compiled by former prisoners.


Help and Support

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.

Grants and Funding

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.

Rules and Regulations

Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.

Glossary of Terms

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.

Fact Sheets

We have produced many Prison Related Fact Sheets inc. Legal Fact Sheets, Parole Fact Sheets and Other related information.


Find a Solicitor

You can search our solicitor database for listings of solicitors in your area that provide the services you require.

Find a Barrister

You can search our barrister database for listings of barristers in your area that provide the services you require.

Address Finder

You can search our address database in many ways to retrieve contact information for all those elusive addresses you need in a hurry.

Prison Law pdf

This document provides details of leading training providers who offer sound professional training.

Other Publications

Inside Information has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insideinformation site.

Contact Us

Use the Contact Us Feedback form to send us suggestions, plus our address and phone numbers.



Inside Justice

insidejustice was launched in July 2010 to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice.

Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage

insidejustice Cases

insidejustice Articles & Reviews

insidejustice Advisory Panel Members

insidejustice Sponsors page

insidejusticecontact details