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HMP MANCHESTER Prison Regime Info


1 Southall Street Manchester M60 9AH image of HMP MANCHESTER prison

Phone No.

0161 817 5600

Governor / Director

Hannah Lane


High Security


North West

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Kathleen Williams
Vice Chair: Susan Maden

Visitor Info Page

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HMP Manchester is a category A core local prison for male adult remanded, convicted and sentenced prisoners.


Manchester prison was formerly known as Strangeways and accepts people remanded into custody from the courts in the Greater Manchester area. The prison opened in June 1868. in 1963 it was decided that the prison would no longer hold women prisoners, and in 1980 it began to accept remand prisoners.

Following a major disturbance in 1990, the prison was re-built, and the running and management of the prison was put out to tender. The Prison Service won the contract and re-opened the prison in 1994. The prison was again put out to tender and the Prison Service won the contract again in 2001. In early 2003 HMP Manchester became part of the High Security Estate.


Two Victorian radial blocks (A, B, C, D, E and G, H, I, K) with a mix of single and double cells. All have in cell power points and integral sanitation.

  • A wing Inner section is for vulnerable prisoners, generally for non-sex offenders
  • and poor copers; Outer section is for ordinary sentenced prisoners (kitchen workers);
  • B wing Voluntary drug testing wing;
  • C wing Lifer and long-term prisoner wing;
  • D wing Sentenced prisoners;
  • E wing Inner section is a self-contained unit for category A and E list prisoners; Outer section contains the vulnerable prisoner unit and the segregation unit;
  • G wing Induction wing;
  • H wing Group work after detoxification wing;
  • H1 wing Deals with difficult and disturbed individuals (including vulnerable prisoner overspill and those with personality disorders) and challenges bullies through ppro-social modelling;
  • I wing Detoxification wing;
  • K wing Unsentenced prisoners;
  • M wing Healthcare centre.

Assisted Access Advice Centre

An ‘AAA (Assisted Access Advice) centre’ has been set up on the induction wing. It is staffed by specialists and part of their remit is to assist foreign nationals and those with any reading/literacy problems to make and maintain family contact.


  • Own clothes
  • Own bedding (lifers only)
  • PlayStation (enhanced)
  • Television (50p per week)

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Mon: 07:45 - 20:45
Tue: 07:45 - 20:45
Wed: 07:45 - 20:45
Thu: 07:45 - 20:45
Fri: 07:45 - 20:45
Sat: 08:45 - 17:30
Sun: 08:45 - 17:30


Mon: 18:00 - 20:30
Tue: 18:00 - 20:30
Wed: 18:00 - 20:30
Thu: 18:00 - 20:30
Fri: 13:45 - 17:30
Sat: 08:45 - 12:00 & 13:45 - 17:15
Sun: 08:45 - 12:00 & 13:45 - 17:15

K Wing remand and trial prisoners also have 07:45 - 11:45 and 13:45 - 16:45 weekdays (H and I Wing also have this).

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There is a large well-equipped sports hall and gymnasium.

Recreational gym takes place in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Accredited courses are delivered in the mornings and afternoons; these include FOCUS gym instructor, CSLA, First Aid and key skills through sport.

There are cardio vascular gyms on some wings.

Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training
  • Volleyball

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Twice a week except B, C & D wings who get Library just 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 Manchester is: Hafiz Chishti (acting - April 2010)

Full-time  Anglican, Catholic and Muslim Chaplains.

Facilities are provided for prisoners of all other faiths with visiting ministers.

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Specialist Clinics

  • Acupuncture
  • CPN
  • Dentist
  • InReach
  • Optician
  • Physio
  • Podiatry
  • Stop Smoking


Telemedicine, as provided by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, enables prisoners to have planned outpatient appointments as well as urgent care from within the prison via video link.

As well as prompt Trauma/A&E consultations, Telemedicine is also used for specialist outpatient appointment for the following specialisms:

  • Breast services – including tests and therapy services
  • Cardiology – heart conditions
  • Chemical pathology – including blood, liver and tumour tests
  • Clinical haematology – blood tests
  • Diabetic medicine
  • Dietetics – diet and weight management
  • Dermatology – skin care
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Endocrinology – hormone related illnesses
  • Gastroenterology – digestive conditions
  • General medicine
  • General surgery
  • Elderly medicine
  • Gynaecology – women’s health
  • Lymphoedema – swelling in the body’s tissue
  • Medical oncology – cancer care
  • Neurology – nervous system conditions
  • Orthopaedics – muscle and bone conditions including injuries and inherited illnesses
  • Paediatrics – child and infant care
  • Palliative care – care for people with terminal conditions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory medicine – breathing difficulties
  • Rheumatology – joint and soft tissue care
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Tissue viability – including care for pressure sores
  • Urology – including kidney, bladder and prostrate conditions
  • Vascular surgery – illnesses affecting the veins and arteries



NHS Healthcare Information for Manchester

Prison Healthcare Manager: Kath Crowther
Tel: 0161 817 5600

PCT: Manchester 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: 0161 882 2084/5



Email: PALS@mhsc.nhs.uk


Patient Advice and Liaison Service

MMH&SCT, 11th Floor, Hexagon Tower, Crumpsall Vale, Manchester. M9 8GQ

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

Classes offered include Skills for Life, IT, ESOL, flexible learning, numeracy, life skills and parentcraft. Some classes are based in the education department however there are also wing-based classes for those who are unable to attend and education support for prisoners who work in the workshops on a full time basis.

Classes available include;

  • Art
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Financial Skills
  • IT Course (Entry to Level 3)
  • Key Skills
  • Languages
  • Life & Social Skills
  • Maths
  • Open University



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

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: 27/07/2009


Summary of grades awarded
 Achievement and standards: 2
Capacity to improve: 2
Effectiveness of provision: 2
Employability training: 2
Equality of opportunity: 2
Leadership and management: 2
Literacy, numeracy and ESOL: 2
Personal development and social integration: 2
Quality of provision: 2

Click Here to download the report

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Prison Workshops


Employment includes;


  • Bricklaying
  • Catering
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Painting & decorating
  • Plastering
  • Sports Studies

Training courses
Offered in IT, industrial cleaning, bricklaying, painting and decorating and plastering. All courses offer nationally recognised qualifications and are linked to employment opportunities.

There are workshops in textiles and a large well-equipped laundry. All areas offer training and have embedded skills for life support.

Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Basic Construction Skills
Career planning and making applications
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Cleaning Operators' Proficiency Certificate
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
Database (Beginners)
Diploma for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
ESOL Skills for Life (Speaking and Listening) (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Speaking and Listening) (Entry 3)
Foundation Programme
Functional Skills English (QCF)
Health and Safety at Work
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 2
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 2
Key Skills in Communication - level 3
Key Skills in Improving Own Learning and Performance
Key Skills in Problem Solving
Key Skills in Working with Others
NQF - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), 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, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 3, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NVQ in Cleaning and Support Services
OCN Level 1, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
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 A, Social Sciences (SSA 11)
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 2, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Social Sciences (SSA 11)
OCN Level 2, PW C, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 3, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Level 3, PW A, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15)
OCN Level 3, PW A, Social Sciences (SSA 11)
Personal Budgeting and Money Management
Practical skills/crafts, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
Presentation (Beginner)
QCF provision - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
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, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW C
QCF provision - Level 2, Leisure, Travel and Tourism (SSA 8), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW B
QCF provision - Level 3, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
QCF provision - Level 3, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
QCF provision - Level 3, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
Risk Assessment
Specialist Task Course
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - ESOL
Unitisation (approved external qualification) Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14) - Literacy
Using ICT (Entry 3) (QCF)

Word Processing (Beginners)


Current Wages


Employed: Up to £13.30 (not regime based)
Education: 68p per session
Retired: £4.50
Long term sick: £4.50

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  • Covaid
  • ETS
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Short Duration Drugs Rehabilitation
  • SOTP - Adapted
  • SOTP - Core

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  • Choose Change
  • Job Club Self-Employment Classes
  • POPS
  • Self-Employment Classes


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

No limits

No of Visitors Permitted

3 adults and 3 children

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

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 22.6 (2010)
This figure is supplied by each prison to the Prison Service. Actual hours are usually dependent on activities etc. and should be taken as the maximum time either in workshops or education over a whole week.
Both of these figures are published retrospectively by the MoJ and HMPS and may have changed since the figures were published but they give a simple comparison between prisons.

Annual Budget: £35,200,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £42,589
*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.

Parliamentary Information
CONSTITUENCY: Blackley and Broughton
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Graham Stringer (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.

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


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: 0161 817 5600 ext 5898

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: 1 – 9 September 2011 - Unannounced full follow-up
Published: February 2012

"The governor modelled the relationship he expected staff and officers to have with prisoners and took action when this was not achieved, which worked."

They said:
“HMP Manchester is one of three ‘core local’ prisons that are managed within the high security estate and can hold category A prisoners as well as lower risk prisoners. The prison serves the courts of Greater Manchester and so it held both remand and short-term prisoners with the range of social, mental health and substance abuse problems typical of any local prison population, and men convicted of the most serious offences who posed a current threat. The prison managed the whole range of the population very well indeed.

“ The prison had strong, visible leadership. The governor modelled the relationship he expected staff and officers to have with prisoners and took action when this was not achieved, which worked. In our survey, more prisoners told us they were treated with respect than we usually find in local prisons – and the results were dramatically better than when we last inspected in 2009. The survey results were consistent with what prisoners and staff told us directly and what we observed.

“ The security department’s emphasis was on managing risk rather than avoiding it and the prison had managed well the difficult task of holding a small very high-risk population without impinging too much on the majority population. They saw their role as helping colleagues do things safely rather than stopping them, and as a consequence, the prison made good use of the facilities and opportunities it offered. In practice, the good relationships and plenty of activity that resulted from this approach contributed to a generally safe environment and good dynamic security. It was backed up by a sound violence reduction strategy and the prison managed gang issues well.

“ Gang members were expected to modify their behaviour so that they met the expectations of the prison rather than, as we sometimes see, the prison becoming tied down by its efforts to keep gang members apart. Extensive closed circuit television helped prisoners feel safe. The prison had taken effective action to reduce the supply of drugs. Few prisoners tested positive in random drug tests and most prisoners told us drugs were difficult to obtain. Safety would have been improved further by a less complicated violence reduction strategy and better liaison between security, residential units and the safer custody team. Interventions to address perpetrators and support victims needed to be more effective. Nevertheless, most prisoners’ perceptions of their safety had much improved since our last inspection and this was particularly true of prisoners who were vulnerable because of their offence.

“ Our most serious concern about the prison was the high level of self-inflicted deaths. This had been the case for many years and was higher than most other prisons. There had been seven self-inflicted deaths since the beginning of 2009, five of them since our last inspection in July 2009. There was a degree of fatalism in the prison’s response to this – that was the way things were in Manchester I was told. Arrangements for caring for prisoners at risk of self-harm or suicide were not poor but there was room for improvement. The prison was not active enough in ensuring lessons were learnt from previous cases (both at Manchester and elsewhere) and ensuring they were consistently applied. As a matter of urgency, the prison needed to apply the same vigour and determination to this issue as it had to others. Its own health department’s approach to serious incidents, near misses and deaths in custody generally was good practice and an obvious starting point for tackling the specific issue of self-inflicted deaths.

“ The segregation unit was well kept and staff had good relationships with prisoners in their care. However, for the small number who were held for long periods the regime was poor with little opportunity for education or other activities. To some extent, this reflected the limited regime for category A prisoners. They were restricted to their own section of one wing and although this had the advantage that their security arrangements did not impact on the regime for the population as a whole, it did limit the regime for these men.

“ Prisoners from black and minority ethnic groups reported similar experiences to white prisoners and there was good support for foreign national prisoners. However, wider diversity work was underdeveloped and under promoted. Although there was good practice in education identifying men with learning disabilities, general support for men with other disabilities was poor. The prison appeared to have failed to identify many men with a disability and even where needs had been identified, support was inconsistent or not followed through. The prison told us that no prisoner had identified themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender –which said more about the prison than it did about the prisoners. The prison needed to ensure that it identified and met the needs of prisoners from all minority groups.

“ Health care was generally very good and we identified a number of points of good practice. In particular, the emphasis on improvement and good staff-prisoner relationships created the conditions for good quality care. One issue, sometimes beyond the prison’s control, was the unacceptably long waits some prisoners endured before being transferred to secure mental health facilities in the community. One prisoner had waited five months after acceptance and very few were transferred within target times.

“ The provision of purposeful activity was excellent. Most prisoners could spend 10 hours a day out of their cells – much more than we usually find in a local prison. We found only one in five prisoners locked in their cells during the working part of the day and wing staff could give a good explanation for each of them. There was a good range of work available. The print workshop provided a realistic working environment and even wing cleaners were given training before starting work. A good range of vocational training was also available. Good literacy and numeracy support was provided at work places with very effective use of peer mentors – from which both the mentor and the prisoner being supported gained. Education generally was good and worked imaginatively to engage those with very negative experience of formal education. There were effective arrangements to identify prisoners with learning difficulties although the education department struggled to keep pace with the very high level of demand. The library was well used and physical education was good.

“ Resettlement was another strength. At a strategic level, the governor led work with the prison’s partners in the community to provide the support and supervision necessary to reduce the risk that prisoners reoffended after release. Work was underway to ensure the prison’s understanding of its prisoners’ resettlement needs was up to date. Offender management was sound and there were good arrangements to ensure that prisoners serving longer sentences moved on quickly to another prison that was appropriate for their needs. Even those serving short sentences were subject to offender management and sentence planning. There was excellent work to help them maintain their tenancies and keep jobs open. Faith groups provided very productive ‘through-the-gate’ support for prisoners living locally. In our survey, a much higher proportion of prisoners than in other local prisons or than at our last inspection told us they had received effective help to address their offending behaviour. There was some excellent and innovative work with prisoners and their families that tackled the problems of the family as a whole.

“ Just over 20 years ago, ‘Strangeways’ as HMP Manchester was generally known, had a notorious reputation and was almost completely destroyed by one of the worst riots in modern prison history. It is now completely transformed and in many ways provides a model to which other local prisons should aspire. The amount and quality of its purposeful activity and its effective resettlement work in particular are exceptional. However, the prison still has important areas to address. The level of self-inflicted deaths has been too high for too long and should be no more accepted as an inevitable feature of the prison today than any of the other grim aspects of its past. The leadership of the prison should now bear down on this issue with the same determination and skill with which they have successfully addressed so many other issues.”

Nick Hardwick CBE December 2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click Here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: 27 – 31 July 2009 - announced inspection

They said
“Manchester is a ‘core local’ prison: a local prison that holds a small number of category A prisoners, and which is managed as part of the high security estate. It is the only such prison to be run under a formal Service Level Agreement, following a successful bid by the Prison Service when it was market tested in 2000. Ten years later, it is now facing another market test.

“Unlike some of the other core locals, Manchester has always tried to ensure that it can meet the needs of the great majority of its prisoners, who could be found in any large local prison, while ensuring the security necessary for category A prisoners. This inspection found that still to be the case. There was a commendable amount of activity for a local prison, much of it focused on improving employability. The quality of much of the education and training was also high. The fact that category A prisoners were held on a separate landing meant that security arrangements for the rest of the prison did not unduly intrude on the regime. This did, however, create a very claustrophobic and restricted regime on the category A landing.

“It was unfortunate that resettlement arrangements for the majority population, which had been commended at previous inspections, had deteriorated somewhat. The north west had led the way in the piloting of offender management arrangements – but this seemed to have stalled, with the withdrawal of dedicated funding. In a local prison where a large proportion of men had histories of drug and alcohol abuse, it was a serious gap that there were no substance abuse programmes. Nevertheless, there remained some good work with community and outside agencies and in some of the resettlement pathways. Resettlement work generally was in need of reinvigoration and direction.

“At the 2001 inspection, after the Service Level Agreement, we had considerable concerns about safety at Manchester, with insufficient staff on the wings and limited contact with prisoners. Steps were taken to increase staff presence, and succeeding inspections found the prison to be much safer. It was still reasonably safe on this inspection, with good self-harm and suicide procedures and a relatively low use of force and segregation. However, over half the prisoners said that they had felt unsafe at some time, which was higher than at the previous full inspection in 2004. A third said they had been victimised by other prisoners, but a much larger proportion (44%) said they had been victimised by staff.

“In our in-depth interviews with prisoners, our own observations and in the prison’s own bullying survey, it was apparent that there was a pervasive lack of trust in staff among prisoners. Unusually, some prisoners were reluctant to talk to us for fear of reprisals – and in one instance, two prisoners were indeed given negative write-ups under the incentives and earned privileges scheme. We also observed communications between and among staff and prisoners which were regularly punctuated by expletives, or where staff shouted or were dismissive. On the other hand, we observed some good, constructive and helpful interactions between staff and prisoners, particularly in the first night and detoxification units. The prison had invested in a lot of prisoner consultation mechanisms; however, they were relatively ineffective in terms of outcome and problem-solving. Nor did prisoners trust the formal applications and complaints procedures.

“Manchester is a complex and large prison, which needs to manage a varied population, including those involved in gang activity. It is commendable that it has managed to retain its local prison focus, and to provide purposeful activity for a large number of prisoners, while holding securely its category A prisoners. The focus and direction of its resettlement work needs attention: in particular, the services for drug and alcohol users. More fundamentally, managers need to explore and remedy the lack of trust between some staff and prisoners, building on the strong relationships in some parts of the prison to ensure that interactions are both appropriate and positive.”

Anne Owers October 2009
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 2012


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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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