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HMP LEWES Prison Regime Info


1 Brighton Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 1EA image of HMP LEWES prison

Phone No.

01273 785 100

Governor / Director

James Bourke


Male Local


Kent and Sussex

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Some single but mainly double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Jennifer Blackburn
Vice Chair: Amanda Hamblin

Visitor Info Page

HMP LEWES Visitor Info
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HMP Lewes is a category B male local prison holding:

  • Adult Remand
  • Adult Convicted
  • Young Adults (not convicted)
  • Life Sentence Prisoners
  • Foreign Nationals
  • Immigration Prisoners
  • Sex Offenders

and serves courts in East and West Sussex.


HMP Lewes was used as a young offenders’ prison during the 1940s and ‘50s. It briefly became a borstal in 1963 before developing into an adult training prison with a lifer wing. In 1990 Lewes became a local prison housing remand and convicted prisoners.

The newly opened Sussex wing provides greater opportunities to retain sentenced Sussex prisoners with up to 12 months to serve before their release back into the local community, and enable effective links with partner agencies to be developed and expanded further.

The majority of cells are shared, some single accommodation. New house block opened in April 2008 that comprises 174 single cells.

  • A wing – local prison and remand centre holding;
  • C wing – local prison and remand centre holding;
  • F wing – Short Term Cat C;
  • G wing – Stabilisation Unit.
  • K wing – first night centre holding;
  • L wing – sentenced category C adults holding;
  • M wing – local prison and remand centre holding;
  • Health Care Centre – inpatient facility holding.


  • Cell power
  • In-cell kettle
  • In-cell sanitation
  • Own clothing (Enhanced/Remand)
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • PlayStation 2 (Enhanced)
  • Stereos - 1 per prisoner, Max. 40 watts (+ size limits)
  • TV (50p  per week) - analogue, digital & Freeview

No pets


Boxer shorts and socks may be posted in after authorisation.

Prisoners can order items from:

  • Argos
  • Amazon
  • Freemans
  • M7M
  • Play.com

Family and friends cannot order newspaper for prisoners


Reception Criteria

Male only, convicted and remand, adult and local remand young offenders - no provision for sentenced young offenders.


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Mon-Thu: 07:45-19:00
Fri: 07:45-17:00
Weekend: 08:45-17:00

Prisoners are locked up over lunch


Mon-Thu: Evening
Fri: Afternoon
Weekend: Morning & afternoon


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Sports available include;

  • Active IQ
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Cricket
  • Emergency First Aid
  • First Aid at Work
  • Football
  • Healthy Living (diet and nutrition)
  • Indoor Bowls
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Manual Handling
  • Minor Games. Short Courses
  • Padder Tennis
  • Remedial
  • Spinning
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training

Click Here to download a Gym Timetable

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Prisoners can visit the Library once a week.

The library has Books, CDs, DVDs and Tapes for loan.

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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 Lewes is: Fr Dale Kendrick

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


Sessional Ministers:

  • Hindu
  • Jehovah’s Witness
  • Mormon
  • Pagan
  • Rabbi
  • Salvation Arm
  • Sikh

Worship and courses run by the Chaplaincy include:

  • Alpha/Lent/Advent
  • Alternatives to Violence Course
  • Arabic Class
  • Arts Discussion group
  • Bereavement group
  • CE Worship –Provision for VP second service
  • Children’s Day (all day)
  • Film Discussion Group
  • Guitar Class
  • In-cell Bible study
  • Islamic Classes
  • Muslim Prayers - Provision for VP second service
  • Parenting Course
  • Prayers for/with Staff
  • Pre-Release Multi-Faith Ceremony
  • RC Mass Provision for VP second service
  • Rosary Group
  • Stress Reduction and Relaxation Course (Prisoners)
  • Sycamore Tree Victim Awareness
  • Victim Awareness
  • Yoga

Click Here to download a Chaplaincy Timetable

This gives information about activities in the Chapel and religious festival dates.

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Prison Healthcare is now commissioned by NHS England:
NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Link: How to make a complaint:
Complaints about Healthcare should be made first through the formal internal complaints system
There are seven Commissioning Trusts for ‘Offender Health’
East Midlands
East of England
Kent & Medway
North East
South West
Thames Valley
Yorkshire & Humber
Healthcare at Lewes is commissioned by:
Kent and Medway Health & Justice Commissioning
Primary Care Provider:
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Contact Information

Tel: 0300 1000 891
Email: patient.relations@esdwpct.nhs.uk

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)
Tribal Education Ltd
Head office: 87-91 Newman Street, London W1T 3EY
Tel: 020 7323 7100

Classes include;

  • Art
  • Business enterprise OCR
  • Computer Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Customer Care NCFE
  • ECDL
  • Employability Skills OCR
  • English
  • ESOL
  • Key Skills
  • Life & Social Skills
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Numeracy
  • Open University
  • PICTA workshop


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

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

Key for inspection grades

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


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


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

Last Inspection Date: 09/12/2008


Summary of grades awarded

Achievement and standards: 3
Capacity to improve: 3
Effectiveness of provision: 4
Employability training: 3
Equality of opportunity: 3
Leadership and management: 4
Literacy, numeracy and ESOL: 4
Personal development and social integration: 2
Quality of provision Satisfactory: Grade 3

To read their report click here

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Prison Workshops

  • BICS
  • Charity packing
  • Construction skills
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Single Portion Packing
  • Kitchens
  • Wing work
  • Stores
  • Laundry

    NVQ - Plastering, Bricklaying and Painting & Decorating
  • NVQ Peer Monitoring
  • P.I.C.T.A. European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
  • C.I.S.C.O. - Levels 1 & 2
  • GCSE via Distance Learning
  • A Levels


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Award for Developing Enterprise Capabilities
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Exploring Enterprise Capabilities
Exploring Enterprise Capabilities
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 2
Key Skills in Information and Communication Technology - Level 2
Key Skills in Working with Others
Level 1 National Customer Care
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 3, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - ESOL
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - ESOL

Vocational study not leading to a recognised qualification, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)


Current Wages


Employed: Up to £14.00

Education: Up to £7.20
Retired: £3.90
Long term sick: £3.90

1 Session bonus pay for full attendance
Accredited courses get higher rates of pay.

Pay rates are currently under review

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  • CAB
  • Enterprise for Change
  • Job Centre+
  • Job Club
  • Lewes 2 2Brighton
  • POAL
  • Prince’s Trust
  • Self-Employment Classes
  • Sussex pathways


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Minimum 9 years - Maximum 18

No of Visitors Permitted

Families; no limit on children who meet the criteria

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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: 21.5 (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: £14,700,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £38,446
*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: Norman Baker (Liberal Democrat)

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. 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: 01273 785100 ext 5019

Currently HMP Lewes links with Brighton, Hastings, Mid-Sussex and Worthing courts.

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: 4 – 6 May 2010 - Unannounced short follow-up inspection
Report Dated: July 2010
Published: 1st October 2010

They said:
“ Lewes is a small local prison mainly serving the courts of East and West Sussex, and holding both adults and young offenders. It has been undergoing badly needed modernisation and, since our last visit, two new wings had opened and a further two were closed for refurbishment. This unannounced short follow up inspection found that the prison remained commendably safe, with positive relationships and a much improved focus on resettlement, however there remained a need for more purposeful activity.

“ Early days in custody were generally well managed and the response to bullying and violence was robust. Vulnerable prisoners were no longer separated, but most still said they felt safe. Suicide prevention arrangements were under review and we saw examples of caring and thoughtful work with prisoners at risk. Security was generally effective and proportionate. Neither adjudications nor use of force were excessive, but the segregation unit was a temporary arrangement pending completion of the refurbishment. There had been some improvement in reducing substance misuse and clinical support was comprehensive.

“ The refurbishment programme was beginning to make a substantial improvement to the environment at Lewes. Relationships between staff and prisoners remained very good, although the personal officer scheme required further development. Diversity was generally well managed, but work with foreign nationals and older prisoners was underdeveloped. Faith and health care services were both generally good.

“ Lewes, like most local prisons, has traditionally lacked sufficient purposeful activity and, while there had been improvements since our previous visit, there were still too few activity spaces for the number of prisoners and their quality was limited. It was therefore disappointing to find that there was poor take up of the available education activity opportunities. Library and PE facilities were good. Time out of cell varied considerably.

“ Resettlement provision was much improved. Offender management was effective for those prisoners to whom it applied, although sentence planning for short-term and un-convicted prisoners was more limited. Work with indeterminate sentence prisoners was well managed and public protection arrangements were effective. Provision along a number of resettlement pathways had improved, although homelessness on release remained a problem and more support was needed to deal with finance, benefit and debt issues.

“ Lewes is a prison in transition, with considerable refurbishment underway and a number of other improvements being put in place, particularly in the resettlement arena. The prison has also sustained its strong emphasis on safety and good staff prisoner relationships and, while it needs to do more to get prisoners out of cell and into purposeful activity, this inspection has been able to confirm that Lewes is an improved and improving prison.”

Nigel Newcomen July 2010
HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: August 2007 (Announced Full Inspection)

They said:
“Lewes is a small, old local prison mainly serving the Sussex area, and holding both adult men and young adults. Like many such prisons, the built environment and facilities are far from ideal: indeed, cells in one wing were barely fit for habitation and needed urgent refurbishment. However, relationships between staff and prisoners were extremely good, within appropriate boundaries. This was the prison’s great strength. There was evidence that staff knew about, and engaged with, the prisoners in their care, though this knowledge was not yet effectively put to use in resettlement and suicide prevention work.

“Lewes was a reasonably safe prison, with good reception and first night procedures. However, there were some worrying weaknesses in anti-bullying and suicide prevention procedures – even though there had been three deaths in custody since April 2007. Vulnerable prisoners in general felt safe, and the care and separation (CAS) unit was a laudable, though limited, attempt to try to manage some very difficult and demanding prisoners who could not cope on normal location.

“Some good work was taking place on aspects of diversity, particularly the support for foreign nationals, though this crucially depended on one experienced officer. Support for disabled and older prisoners, however, lacked focus, though some good individual support was provided. Health services were improving, but there were gaps and deficiencies in inpatient care and in primary mental health services.

“Like most local prisons, Lewes did not have sufficient activity spaces for its population – but it also failed to fill those it had. The courses provided were often inappropriately long for a short-stay population, with the result that few prisoners achieved qualifications. Nevertheless, the library and PE were good and it was commendable that prisoners, even those who were unemployed, had reasonable amounts of time out of cell: our roll check revealed only around 76 prisoners locked in their cells.

“Most of Lewes’s prisoners were relatively local, and there were good contacts with voluntary and community groups. It was therefore disappointing that resettlement provision was weak, and lacked direction. The new offender management structures were ineffective. Around a quarter of prisoners were discharged to no fixed abode: though this was in part a reflection of the relative lack of social housing in the area. There was no custody planning for remanded and short-sentenced prisoners, and limited work on money management and preparation for employment. Drug and alcohol work was, however, well integrated within the prison and with teams in the community.

“Overall, Lewes was a decent and safe prison, in spite of its physical limitations. That owed a great deal to the positive approach of staff and managers. However, aspects of its work, in resettlement and activities, needed more robust management and direction in order to maximise opportunities and capitalise on the prison’s local links. That is far from easy, in an overcrowded and pressurised prison system.”

Anne Owers November 2007
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: November 2014


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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