Go Back

HMP ONLEY Prison Regime Info


Willoughby Rugby CV23 8AP image of HMP ONLEY prison

Phone No.

01788 523400

Governor / Director

Dave Harding


Male Cat. C


East Midlands

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Mainly single but 60 double cells

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Patricia Leggett
Vice Chair: Ian Dye

Visitor Info Page

HMP ONLEY Visitor Info
Navigate this page General | Unlock & Association | Sport | Library | Faith | Healthcare | Education | Employment | Offending Behaviour Courses | Resettlement | Additional Information

Online Library documents for HMP ONLEY

Search our Library for New Window/Tab

Adult male category C prison.


The Ministry of Justice has announced that Onley will be put up for tender later this year.

Built as a borstal, Onley held only Young Offenders for many years gradually increasing in size as new accommodation was added. Its role was expanded in 1998 when juveniles were taken for the first time and for 3 years from 2001 remanded as well as sentenced juveniles were held in addition to a YO population. During this period there was considerable investment in buildings and staffing to meet YJB standards. The original accommodation was in serious need of updating and a refurbishment programme commenced in 2002 and finished in 2006.

In 2003 the YJB made the decision to remove the juvenile population. These were replaced by sentenced adults in March 2004.

The young adults (YOI) have been removed and the prison holds adult males only.


All residential wings apart from I Wing have 60 single cells with internal sanitation, in-cell electricity and TV. There are showering facilities, association, and dining areas and a laundry room with industrial type washing machines and dryers. G & H Wings are the induction wings. I Wing holds 100 prisoners in 50 double cells all with internal sanitation and comparable facilities to the training wings.

Reception Criteria

Onley is a category C establishment accepting all suitable determinate sentence prisoners.


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


Back to top


Mon: 07:45 - 12:15, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:15
Tue: 07:45 - 12:15, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:15
Wed: 07:45 - 12:15, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:15
Thu: 07:45 - 12:15, 13:45 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:15
Fri: 07:45 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 16:45
Sat: 08:45 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 17:15
Sun: 08:45 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 17:15


Mon: 18:00 - 19:15
Tue: 18:00 - 19:15
Wed: 18:00 - 19:15
Thu: 18:00 - 19:15
Fri: 13:45 - 16:45
Sat: 09:00 - 11:30 & 13:45 - 16:30
Sun: 09:00 - 11:30 & 13:45 - 16:30

Back to top


Sports available include;

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

Back to top


Onley has a well stocked and well staffed library. The library is open weekdays and every evening during the week.

The stock comprises approximately 8000 books, videos, magazines and newspapers.

There are four multimedia computers for prisoner use and reprographic facilities are available.

There is a large stock of speaking books and foreign language material.

Facilities are available for prisoners to record books and send tapes home to their children (Storybook Dad).

Prisoner learning support is available in the evenings so that they can fully benefit from the facilities.

Back to top


Every prison has a Chaplaincy department managed by a Co-ordinating Chaplain and supported by admin staff, other Chaplains and ‘Sessional Chaplains’ (faith leaders who visit for specific services or sessions). The Chaplaincy is considered an important part of the prison structure. When a prisoner arrives at a prison they are usually seen by a Chaplain within 24 hours and are invited to register as a specific religion (if they haven’t already done so) and can change their declared religion at any time.

The Chaplaincy does far more than just pastoral care; they often are able to lend radios, musical instruments and typewriters; they may take part in Sentence Planning and are available as a ‘listening ear’ and are able, sometimes, to help with domestic problems. Most Chaplaincies run various courses and activities which may or may not have a religious theme. Every prisoner has the right to follow their religious practices and attend Chapel for services pertaining to their declared faith (even when segregated).

The Chaplaincy are able to organise faith activities for all main religions (as recognised by the Prison Service; this does not, at present include Rastafarian as a specific religion) and contact faith representatives to visit individual or groups of prisoners for the purpose of religious activities. The chaplaincy can also intercede on matters of religious dress, diet and artefacts. A full list of permitted artefacts can be found in the Glossary Section under Religious Artefacts.

You can contact the Chaplaincy by letter or by telephoning the main prison number and asking to speak to the Chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy works as part of the prison and cannot, therefore, guarantee confidentiality (they can explain this to you in detail). Prisoners can contact the Chaplaincy in person or by Application.

Chaplaincy Statement of Purpose (HMPS)
The Chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and religious traditions by engaging all human experience. We will work collaboratively, respecting the integrity of each tradition and discipline. We believe that faith and the search for meaning directs and inspires life, and are committed to providing sacred spaces and dedicated teams to deepen and enrich human experience. We contribute to the care of prisoners to enable them to lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.

The Co-ordinating Chaplain at Onley is: Jonathan Fox

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


Facilities for;

  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jehovah Witness
  • Jewish
  • Mormons
  • Pagans
  • Quakers
  • Sikhs

Back to top


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 this prison is commissioned by:
East Midlands Health & Justice Commissioning
(hosted by Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Area Team)
Primary care Provider:
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Sudborough House, St Mary's Hospital, London Road, Kettering NN15 7PW
Provider of Physical Health Care
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Provider of Mental Health Care
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Back to top


Milton Keynes College
Chaffron Way Centre, Chaffron Way, Leadenhall, Milton Keynes MK6 5LP
Tel: 01908 684444

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
Lincoln College
Monks Road, Lincoln LN2 5HQ
Tel: 01522 876000

There are one hundred and sixteen education places.

Courses include;

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


Prisoner Learning Support

Basic Skills, Key Skills and language support is offered to all prisoners across all activity areas. This may be within formal, timetabled sessions or may be workplace based. Particular support is offered to those prisoners completing NVQ portfolios.



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

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: 25/11/2008


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: 4

To read their report click here

Back to top


Prison Workshops
Charity x3
Concrete Products

Onley offers three hundred training places in a wide range of industries and activities.

These include;

  • Bricklaying
  • Concrete (which includes Forklift Truck qualification)
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Information Technology (PICTA Project)
  • Market Gardens
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Recycling of white goods (Goods again)
  • Reparative (which includes Bike Repair qualification and Driving Test Theory)
  • Waste Management Unit
  • Wheelchair repairs

Other employment / training opportunities include residential wing cleaning / painting and orderlies (for example: Gym, Stores, Healthcare, Library) and Catering. A wide range of qualifications is achievable across all of these activity areas. Prisoners who successfully complete an externally accredited qualification are rewarded with an achievement bonus.


Current accredited vocational qualifications include;

  • ASDAN Workright
  • BICS Level 1 – 4
  • CISCO IT Essentials 1
  • City & Guilds 3901 Level 3 Motor Vehicle Repair & Maintenance
  • City & Guilds 6217 -07 Basic Construction Skills
  • City & Guilds Level 1 Introduction to Multi Skills
  • City & Guilds Level 1 Painting & Decorating Basic Construction
  • City & Guilds Web Design
  • CSCS Safety Card
  • ECDL
  • Electrical Design OCN Level 1
  • Electrical Practice OCN level 1 – 2
  • ITSSAR B1 Counterbalance
  • Level 1 Health and Safety at Work
  • NVQ 1 Waste Management Operation
  • NVQ 2 Waste Management Operation
  • NVQ Food Processing & Cooking Level 2
  • OCN Bicycle Repair Level 1
  • OCN Library & Information Skills level 1
  • Portable Appliance Testing City & Guilds Level 3


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Basic Construction Skills
Certificate for IT Users - (e-Quals) - Standard
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Creative Techniques in 2D (QCF)
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 2
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 Working with Others
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
Non-externally certificated - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Entry Level, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SSA 4), PW C
NQF - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 1, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 2, Business, Administration and Law (SSA 15), PW A
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 2, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7), PW C
NQF - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NVQ in Barbering
NVQ in Hospitality
OCN Level 2, PW C, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7)

Vehicle Systems and Body and Paint Maintenance


Current Wages


Employed: £8.00 - £11.00
Education: £11.00
Retired: £2.50
Long term sick: £2.50

Back to top


  • Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
  • P-ASRO
  • Sycamore Tree (OCN)
  • Victim Awareness and Restorative Justice Course

Back to top


  • Citizens' Advice Bureau
  • Community Chaplaincy
  • Job club - Job Centre+


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 17 years

No of Visitors Permitted

3 adults and 3 children

Back to top


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

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 24.4 (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): £39,027
*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: Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)

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



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

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

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

If a prisoner is newly convicted or transferred they should be offered an immediate ‘Reception’ phone call to tell you where they are. It may take a few days for numbers to be transferred or added.

When you write to a prisoner you must include your full name and address. In most prisons the letters are searched and can be read before being given to the prisoner.

You can write about anything but letters must not be obscene, name ‘victims’, or be a threat to discipline or security. Do not enclose any items with letters. Make sure you put sufficient postage to cover the costs (anything bigger than A5 counts as ‘large’). Prisoners can normally receive a ‘reasonable’ number of letters per week.

If you send greetings cards these should be of reasonable size and not padded or pouched. Do not send musical cards. If you are sending more than one card put them all inside one outer envelope, this saves postage. Remember to include your full details (you could put your details on a ‘Post-It’ note stuck to the card or include a letter which has your details).

Always put the prisoner’s full name and prison number. If the person has been moved their mail will be forwarded.

On conviction or transfer a prisoner should be given a ‘Reception’ letter to write to tell you where they are.

Prisoners are given a free letter each week to post out, they can send more, but at their own expense. Some prisons allow you to send in stamps.

You can usually send in photographs but in some prisons these must not include any image of the prisoner. Child protection measures may mean that some prisoners may not receive pictures of children, unless they are their own and were not ‘victims’. If you send pictures of children include an explanatory note identifying who the children are and their relationship to the prisoner.

It is not a good idea to send cash, this can get ‘lost’ in the prison. Prisons prefer postal orders, but you could send a cheque. Make these payable to ‘H M Prison Service’, write your name on the back and also the prisoner’s full name and prison number. Any money sent which is deemed to be ‘anonymous’ can be stopped.
Money you send is paid into the prisoner’s ‘Private Cash’ account and they get access to a certain amount (depending upon IEP) each week [currently £15.50 for Standard prisoners].

For full information about visits please refer to our ‘Visit Info’ section for this prison. Visits are very important to prisoners. At most prisons you may not give any item to the prisoner. Any items you wish to give them must usually be posted to the prison, and often after the prisoner has placed an ‘application’ for authorisation to have it sent in. The items which can be posted in are very limited. Check with the prisoner first and wait until they confirm that you can post it.

If there is a serious emergency - close family serious illness, death, or other reason you need to inform the prisoner immediately, you should telephone the main prison number and explain the problem to the operator who will transfer you to the appropriate person. If you are unhappy about their response redial and ask to speak to the Chaplaincy. Prison staff will not pass on general messages but only critical and very urgent messages. You should provide full details of the prisoner including their number.

Support and Advice
There are many very good charities and agencies who offer support and advice to people with family or friends in prison. We have a special section ‘Help/Support’ which has details and contact information for many of these. Do not hesitate or feel shy about calling any of these; they are there to offer support and advice.

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

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

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

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

Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website


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

Click Here for more information

Drugs Strategy

Prisoners with a drug issues / problems are seen on the Induction Units. There are a range of comprehensive interventions available including CARATS, one to one work, group work, auricular acupuncture, voluntary testing, detoxification and a drug support unit. Onley has strong links with outside agencies including the Drug Action team. The PASRO course (offending behaviour programme linked to drug misuse is also available).


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: 16–18 November 2010 - Unannounced short follow-up inspection
Report Dated: January 2011
Published: 8th March 2011

They said:
“Onley is an adult male category C prison in the East Midlands. At the time of this inspection it held 683 prisoners.

“ This was an unannounced short follow-up inspection that looked at the progress that had been made since our last inspection in 2007. The prison itself had undergone significant changes since that time and no longer housed young offenders or accepted foreign national prisoners. It is pleasing to note that the change in role coincided with good progress in implementing our recommendations and a significant improvement in outcomes for prisoners. All of the main recommendations we made in 2007 had been achieved and the prison was now reasonably good in all areas.

“ The areas that caused us most concern during our last inspection had improved most. There was now strong leadership of learning and skills and there was a broad education curriculum, a wide range of vocational training and a good variety of work activity. Only 3% of the prisoners were recorded as unemployed.

“ There was a similar improvement in resettlement where good work across offender management and the individual resettlement pathways was underpinned by a good strategy. Nacro and the Citizens Advice Bureau inputted effectively into the resettlement process. However, limited offending behaviour programmes prevented a number of prisoners held on indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) from addressing their risk factors and progressing.

“ A good range of purposeful activity and a clear emphasis on working with prisoners to support their resettlement were underpinned by a decent environment and generally good relationships between staff and prisoners. Health care continued to be good. There were some relatively small improvements needed: cleanliness was not good in some areas; prisoners complained about the food and we saw some that had to be returned because it had not been adequately heated. The diversity strategy was too narrow in scope.

“ The prison provided a generally safe environment. There were good procedures in place to care for prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm and to tackle bullying. Inspectors did not find evidence of the significant illegal drug use that we had reported on at our last inspection. Some rules and procedure were over restrictive and too risk-averse.

“ This is a good inspection and while there is still room for further improvement in some areas, the governor and staff are to be commended on the progress they have made.”

Nick Hardwick January 2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click here to read the full report

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

They said:
“Since its last full inspection, Onley had changed its role, from an entirely young offender institution to a category C training prison, holding a majority of adult men and a minority of young adults. Staff therefore had to deal with a significantly different population, and with fewer resources. Moreover, the population pressure in the prison system as a whole meant that the prison was taking in prisoners for shorter periods and from a wide geographical area, sometimes as far away as the south coast.

“The consequences of this were evident during the inspection. Onley remained a reasonably safe prison, with good reception and induction processes, a particularly effective peer support scheme, and sound anti-bullying and suicide prevention arrangements. However, there was a significant problem with drugs on the adult wings, where more than half of prisoners told us it was easy to get drugs, and testing procedures were inadequate to respond to this. In addition, too many prisoners were gravitating to the segregation unit, sometimes to escape drugs or drug debts, and sometimes because they wanted to move closer to home.

“Relationships between staff and the adult male population were not sufficiently good, as evidenced in our survey and the MQPL (measuring the quality of prison life) survey carried out as part of the recent Prison Service audit. The underlying problem was prisoners’ perception that staff treated them as children: suggesting that staff had not sufficiently altered their approach when the prison had changed its role. There were particularly negative perceptions among black and minority ethnic prisoners, and lines of communication with them were poor. By contrast, health services were extremely good – among the best we have seen – with some extremely innovative practice, and an integrated and effective mental health team.

“It was disappointing that the two areas that were weakest at Onley – purposeful activity and resettlement – should have been its strengths, as a training prison. Activity was particularly poor. Around a third of prisoners were locked up during the core day; there were few vocational qualifications available; education was operating at only 60% of contracted capacity; and some of the teaching and achievements were weak. We observed poor and unsafe working practices in some of the workshops.

“Resettlement work also needed development. Progress was made much more difficult by the rapid turnaround of prisoners, due to the early release scheme, and the wide geographical area from which they came. However, the prison’s own resettlement strategy was insufficiently clear and its implementation not effectively monitored. Offender supervisors were routinely diverted to other duties, and there was no custody planning for short-term prisoners. Drug treatment work focused too much on assessment, and courses did not meet the needs of prisoners.

“Though it remained a largely safe and decent establishment, Onley was not an effective training prison at the time of this inspection. Its difficulties partly stemmed from its change of role, and the effects of national population pressures. But prison managers, and the education provider, also needed to ensure that they were making the most of the facilities available and providing good quality activities and resettlement support that met the needs of the prisoners. That would go some way to creating a more positive environment for both staff and prisoners.”

Anne Owers January 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 for IMB Website

Click Here for the latest published Annual IMB Report for this prison (2009-10)

Information in this section has been provided, primarily, by the prison. This information is supplemented with information from the various prison service websites; Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons; information and quotes from recent IMB/Visiting Committee reports; and specialist departments within the Prison Service, government, and regional assemblies/parliaments. Performance and population data is provided by the Ministry of Justice.

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 can be up to three months out of date.

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, please click on ‘Contact’, below.


Updated: January 2014

Back to Top


Inside Time Latest Issue

Issue : December 2014

Headlines | Mailbag | Poems
Book List | PSI Updates


Back Issues

Back Issues

View backissues and extras

Browse and Search Tools

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

December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
> A search for any trace of the governmentís Rehabilitation Revolution
> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
> Doctor Frankenstein and his monster
> Human Rights: truth and lies
> Scapegoating the undeserving poor
> Interview
> The first Miscarriage of Justice
> Month by Month - December 2014
> The 2014 Longford Trust Awards
> Is it all in the mind
> Time
> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
> Paperwork is the key
> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
> Insider Dealing
> Christmas Stories
> Christmas Messages
> Christmas Messages

About Us

About insidetime
Editorial Team

InsidePoetry Book

insidepoetry book New! Volume 5 of
insidepoetry book
is now available!

A collection of poems by prisoners of all backgrounds.

Availabe to buy from this site! Volume 1,2,3 and 4 are also still available and you can SAVE by purchasing bundles!

USP Service

USP from Inside Time

The Useful Services for Prisoners scheme from insidetime provides discounts, vouchers and other benefits from USP Group Members for Prisoners, their families and legal advisors. Click the image above to read more about it.


You can subscribe to insidetime Newspaper and get the paper each month delivered to your door!


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

Other Publications

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


Contact Us

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

Site Map

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

External Links

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

Social Networking


Inside Information


Everything you need to know about visiting people in prison; procedures, opening times, directions etc.

Comprehensive information about each prison regime; lock down times, facilities, healthcare etc.

*NEW* Detailed information about IRC - Immigration Removal Centres.

insideinformation Book

insideinformation book
The insideinformation book

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


Help and Support

Various pages of information for help and support organisations and networks for those in custody as well as recently released. Also information for friends and family.

Grants and Funding

This grants and funding pdf document aims to meet the need of prisoners and ex-offenders for accurate, up to date information on the supplementary funding available to prisoners.

Rules and Regulations

Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.

Glossary of Terms

The Glossary of Prison Related Terms explains what all the acronyms and terms stand for with prison related matters. Includes links to external sites to further explain things.

Fact Sheets

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


Find a Solicitor

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

Find a Barrister

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

Address Finder

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

Prison Law pdf

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

Other Publications

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

Site Map

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

Contact Us

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



Inside Justice

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

Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage

insidejustice Cases

insidejustice Articles & Reviews

insidejustice Advisory Panel Members

insidejustice Sponsors page

insidejusticecontact details