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HMP LEEDS Prison Regime Info


2 Gloucester Terrace Stanningley Road Leeds LS12 2TJ image of HMP LEEDS prison

Phone No.

0113 203 2600

Governor / Director

Carolyn Lund (Acting)


Male Local


Yorkshire and Humberside

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy


Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Mr Andrew Winfield
Vice Chair: Stephen Betts

Visitor Info Page

HMP LEEDS Visitor Info
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Leeds is a local prison holding prisoners remanded or sentenced by the courts in West Yorkshire.


Leeds prison was built in 1847. It was a place of execution until 1960s, and was expanded from four wings to six wings in 1994.

Recent refurbishment has addressed many of the issues associated with under investment in Victorian prisons, although further work is needed to upgrade the buildings and facilities. A new gate complex opened in September 2002, providing much needed staff facilities and an improvement to the entry point for all visitors and staff, which is closer to the Visitors Centre.

A key priority is to ensure prisoners are transferred or discharged, having had their resettlement needs assessed and, where appropriate, settled accommodation and employment arranged. The prison also focuses on providing health and lifestyle support to prisoners, including drug detoxification and prescribing programmes and delivering the short duration drugs programme.


HMP Leeds has a total 551 cells spread across six residential units, a segregation unit and in-patients Healthcare Facility. The six residential wings are;

  • A Wing – vulnerable prisoner unit
  • B Wing - Normal Location
  • C Wing – Resettlement Wing
  • D Wing – Recovery Wing (including the First Night Centre)
  • E Wing – Post-Recovery Wing
  • F Wing – Remand

Reception Criteria

Normal reception arrangements: HMP Leeds is a category B local prison. It accepts all adult male prisoners from West Yorkshire.


  • Hobbies kits during lock-up
  • In-cell power
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • Own clothes
  • Playstation (Enhanced only)
  • Television (£1 per week)

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


Mon: 17:45 - 20:00
Tue: 17:45 - 20:00
Wed: 17:45 - 20:00
Thu: 17:45 - 20:00
Fri: None
Sat: 10:00 - 16:00
Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

Each prisoner gets a minimum of 1 hour Association every day.

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Sports available include;

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

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40 minutes once 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 Leeds is: Paul Allen

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

Facilities for;

  • Hindus
  • Jehovah Witness
  • Mormons
  • Pagans
  • Sikhs

Facilities provided for all other faiths.

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In-Patient 24 hour service provided. 24 beds plus one listener cell and 2 Safer Custody cells. There has been a reduction in beds due to major construction work.


Specialist Clinics

  • Acupuncture: Weekly
  • CPN: Daily
  • Dentist: Twice weekly
  • InReach: Secondary Mental Health Services
  • Optician: Weekly
  • Physio: 3 times a week
  • Podiatry: Weekly


Safer Custody Unit The unit provides a 28 day psycho-social intervention day care service offering those prisoners felt to be at risk of suicide or self harm the chance to explore their thinking, behaviours and choices. This is achieved by group work and where necessary one to one support. The staff compliment is a mix of NHS (Leeds PCT) and HM Prison Service staff (Officers).


The prison also runs IDTS


NHS Healthcare Information for Leeds

Prison Healthcare Manager: Claire Shepherd
Tel: 0113 203 2600

PCT: Leeds Primary Care Trust
Yorkshire and the Humber 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: 0800 0525 270
Email: pals@nhsleeds.nhs.uk

NHS Leeds,
North West House,
West Park Ring Road,
LS16 6QG

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

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

All prisoners are offered Basic Skills Agency Screening Tests at some point in their stay at Leeds. For many, screening tests will be taken within the induction period.


Classes include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Computer Studies
  • Cookery
  • Crafts
  • Creative Writing
  • ESDL
  • Language
  • 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 Leeds.


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: 03/03/2005


Ofsted said;

"At the previous inspection, training in hair and beauty therapy was unsatisfactory. Leadership and management overall was also unsatisfactory. At the end of the re-inspection process, hair and beauty therapy was satisfactory as were all aspects of leadership and management. In the areas of ICT, art and design, hospitality and sport and foundation programmes the standards found at the previous inspection are being maintained."

To read their report click here

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Prison Workshops

Single Portion Packing

Employment includes;

  • Bricklaying
  • Catering
  • Food Packing
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • IT Workshop
  • Laundry
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Performing Manufacturing
  • Sports Studies


A City & Guilds Level 1 Construction Course is available and OCN - Barbering.


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Literacy (Entry 1, 2 and 3)
Adult Numeracy
Cleaning Operators' Proficiency Certificate
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 2)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 3)
Food Premises Cleaning Certificate
Introductory Basic Construction Skills
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
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 B
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
OCN Entry Level, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Entry Level, PW B, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)
OCN Entry Level, PW C, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW B, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1)
OCN Level 1, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 1, PW C, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5)
OCN Level 1, PW C, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 3, 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, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C

Radio Production


Current Wages


Employed: £5.00 - £11.50
Education: £5.00 - £11.50
Retired: £4.00
Long term sick: £4.00

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Prisoners presenting with a drug problem are identified during the reception process as part of a comprehensive medical screening, aided by experienced Drug Advice workers. The “joined up” approach between Drug Action and Drug Intervention Teams helps the identification of priority cases, and enables the various agencies to intervene from initial arrest through to post release work. Within the prison the Safer Custody initiative, coupled with medical detoxification facilities have resulted in a fully co-ordinated treatment facility for abusers of opiates and other Class A drugs. This is being further developed through the delivery of the accredited Short Duration Programme, substance abuse programme, and additional work with remand and short term prisoners. The regimes of the two voluntary testing units on E and F Wings support prisoners in their desire to remain drug free

Drug & Alcohol Misuse is targeted for intervention upon reception by healthcare and Lifeline specialist drugs workers. Lifeline provides arrange of interventions such as 121 work on harm minimisation and group work interventions such as relapse prevention.

The Short Duration Drugs Programme and multi disciplinary Alcohol Focus Group are specific interventions aimed at reducing dependence and encouraging positive community reintegration.

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HMP Leeds works in partnership with Shelter to enhance prisoner's access to appropriate housing and support services. Ensuring that they receive timely, accurate housing advice and support, preventing homelessness and enabling access to accommodation on release enhancing opportunities for rehabilitation and community integration. 

  • Job club
  • Job Centre+


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 16 years

No of Visitors Permitted

All children and accompanying adults

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Ministry of Justice Performance Rating for this prison: 3
This is on a scale from 1 (serious concerns) to 4 (Exceptional) and is worked out by the Ministry of Justice taking into account 34 criteria such as overcrowding, purposeful activities etc. A score of 3 is considered a good performance. Published quarterly.

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 17.1 (2010)
This figure is supplied by each prison to the Prison Service. Actual hours are usually dependent on activities etc. and should be taken as the maximum time either in workshops or education over a whole week.
Both of these figures are published retrospectively by the MoJ and HMPS and may have changed since the figures were published but they give a simple comparison between prisons.

Annual Budget: £22,200,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £33,080
*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: Rachel Reeves (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.

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


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: 0113 203 2600 ext 2841

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: 3 – 12 March 2010 - Unannounced full follow-up inspection

They said:
“Leeds is a local prison that has had a patchy recent history. Progress made around the turn of the century had clearly stalled by the time of our 2005 inspection, and indeed there were serious concerns about staff culture, the overuse of force and an undercurrent of racism. There were some signs of improvement by the 2007 inspection, though outcomes for prisoners in three of our four key areas remained unsatisfactory or poor. It is pleasing to report that this unannounced follow-up visit charted further progress in all areas, as a result of close and effective management.

“ Safety at Leeds remained a concern. As at previous inspections, first night arrangements were good, but they were let down by poor induction processes and ongoing support after the first night. More prisoners than at comparator prisons said they had felt unsafe. They did not report high levels of victimisation, but systems to investigate and monitor alleged incidents were weak. A great deal of attention had been given to suicide prevention strategies and procedures, following a large number of self-inflicted deaths, and in general support arrangements had improved, with especially good support on B1 landing for prisoners with a range of vulnerabilities. Progress had been maintained in the segregation unit, and levels of use of force remained relatively low, but oversight of its use remained inadequate. The level of illicit drug use was high, and there was insufficient attention to supply reduction.

“ There had been a noticeable improvement in staff-prisoner relationships and considerable management attention to aspects of diversity, in particular race. Prisoners reported that the majority of staff treated them reasonably, though on all wings there were reports of a minority of staff who were dismissive or racist, and there was little proactive personal officer work. In spite of some effective work on race and religion, involving staff, prisoner representatives and outside agencies, black and minority ethnic, and in particular Muslim, prisoners continued to have much more negative perceptions of life at Leeds than other prisoners. There was widespread dissatisfaction with the food. Health services had improved, in particular mental health services, though there was no daycare provision and the inpatient regime was relatively poor.

“ There had been some improvements to the range and quality of provision, but there continued to be too little purposeful activity for men at Leeds. Allocation and assessment procedures were weak and resulted in some activity places being unfilled. The quality of educational provision had improved, but the quantity was insufficient, though participation was maximised through the use of part-time places. Much of the work available was mundane and wing-based, but there had been an increase in vocational training opportunities with good achievement of qualifications. Facilities in and access to PE were unsatisfactory, though further investment was planned. Time out of cell, though improved, was over-reported, and too many prisoners spent most of the day locked in cells.

“ Resettlement services were reasonably good, though they lacked effective strategic underpinning and needs analysis. All prisoners were seen at an early stage to identify need, but there were no tracking systems to ensure that needs were met, except for the minority of prisoners in scope of offender management. Some prisoners were able to benefit from accredited pre-release courses but a more coordinated approach to discharge arrangements was needed. There were, nevertheless, some good accommodation and finance services, good links with local job centres and excellent family support work through Jigsaw. Provision for those with drug problems was good and improving but, as in most other prisons, those with primary alcohol problems were poorly served.

“ Overall, this is an encouraging report on a prison that has had to grapple with some serious underlying problems. Improvements were evident in all three of the areas about which we had concerns last time: respect, safety and activity. It was particularly pleasing that relationships between staff and prisoners, a major concern at the last two inspections, had improved markedly, though a minority of staff continued to cause concern. It is a credit to managers and staff that progress has continued, in spite of the obvious limitations in a large, old prison with a transient population and insufficient activity places. Maintaining a safe and purposeful environment in such an environment is challenging, and Leeds will continue to need robust and effective management to sustain and continue its recent progress.”

Anne Owers June 2010
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: December 2007 (Unannounced Full Inspection)

They said:
“Leeds is a large inner-city local prison. It has had a chequered history: successive governors have tried, with greater or lesser success, to root out a negative culture among some of its staff. Our last inspection, in August 2005, found that culture beginning to take hold again, with a particularly worrying racial angle. Since August 2005, there have been 12 self-inflicted deaths in the prison.

“This unannounced inspection found that there were still considerable problems in the prison, but that vigorous management attempts were being made to grapple with them. Leeds was still failing to perform sufficiently well in any of our key areas, except for resettlement, and indeed was performing poorly in relation to activity. There had nevertheless been progress in all areas, as managers tried to put in place the building blocks for solid and sustained improvement.

“The safety of prisoners had rightly had considerable managerial attention, given Leeds’ recent history. The segregation unit was much improved, as were first night support arrangements. A multidisciplinary area working party was taking a proactive approach to reducing deaths in custody and identifying risk; and there was an innovative safer custody unit, largely for those withdrawing from drugs. However, this approach had not percolated down to staff on the wings: support for prisoners at risk of suicide was inconsistent; emergency call bells were not always answered; night staff were poorly trained; and some cell observation panels were blocked. A large proportion (44%) of prisoners had felt unsafe at Leeds, anti-bullying procedures were underdeveloped, there was a high incidence of drug use, and vulnerable prisoners were not always held safely and decently.

“Many of the prison’s safety problems stemmed from the distant and negative relationships between most staff and prisoners. Only around half the prisoners surveyed said that most staff treated them with respect. These findings paralleled those in a recent Prison Service survey. Inspectors saw some good interactions, but also some poor ones, and complaints against staff were not rigorously investigated. Black and minority ethnic prisoners, and Muslim prisoners in particular, continued to report more negatively about their experiences at Leeds, particularly in relation to safety and victimisation – in spite of considerable proactive race relations work by managers and specialist officers. Indeed, in all areas of prison life, we found extremely committed individuals whose work and priorities did not yet appear to have percolated to all their colleagues.

“Activity levels at Leeds remained poor. Around a third of prisoners were unemployed, and a check during the core day revealed nearly 40% of men locked behind their doors. Those who were unemployed would spend over 22 hours a day locked in their cells, and those who were employed would often arrive late and leave early; nor were they allocated to courses or work that met their assessed needs. The prison’s reported statistic, of an average of nine hours a day out of cell for its prisoners, was simply fictional. Some education, and the PE provision, was of good quality; however, most of the work was not, nor were most prisoners able to obtain qualifications.

“The prison’s resettlement work had improved and involved a number of community agencies and employers. All sentenced prisoners had their resettlement needs assessed on arrival; though there was no formal custody planning for short-term or remanded prisoners. Most of the resettlement pathways were adequately covered, though work with children and families was underdeveloped, except for the work of Jigsaw, a voluntary organisation running an excellent visitors’ centre. Resettlement work was, however, undermined by the fact that too  many prisoners stayed too long at Leeds without the opportunity to engage in positive work or programmes. This was particularly the case for indeterminate-sentenced prisoners, as in many local prisons, and also for those being maintained on methadone, where the delayed roll-out of the integrated drug treatment system meant that there were few opportunities to transfer to training prisons which could support their treatment.

“This inspection showed that there were still fundamental problems that needed to be addressed at Leeds. We did, however, find a management team that was committed to working methodically and vigorously to tackle the underlying causes as well as the symptoms. This is no easy task, in a prison system that is creaking at the seams and facing considerable challenges over the next few months. They, and the many good and committed staff in the prison, will need considerable support.”

Anne Owers April 2008
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: May 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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