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Saville Road Westfield PE3 7PD image of HMP PETERBOROUGH prison

Phone No.

01733 217500

Governor / Director

Director: Nick Leader


Male and Female Cat. B and YOI


East of England

Operational Capacity

960 (male & female)

Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Alan Turner
Vice Chair: Susan Painter

Visitor Info Page

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Online Library documents for HMP PETERBOROUGH

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HMP Peterborough is a local prison for both men and women (who are housed seperately). There is no VPU.


The prison, which is situated on the former site of the Baker Perkins engineering works,  is operated by Sodexo Justice Services (previously Kalyx) under a 25 year contract to the Home Office.

Opening in March 2005, it is the country's only dual purpose-built prison for men and women, who are kept separate at all times. The prison also has a 12 place Mother and Baby Unit.



The un-crowded capacity is 360 including a separate Mother and Baby Unit which can accommodate 12 mums. The main accommodation comprises of two houseblocks each containing five wings.

  • Houseblock One holds women on remand and sentenced YOI'S, Detox, Induction and VDT.
  • Houseblock Two holds Lifers and IPP's, VDT and all sentenced women.

The majority of the accommodation is single occupancy and the wings hold on average 34 women. There is a Separation and Care unit and a 15-bed healthcare facility which incorporates a first night centre for women who are new to custody.


The crowded capacity for male residence is 624. Each wing houses approximately 79 prisoners with the exception of Z2, the enhanced wing, which has 59.

There is no VPU at HMP/YOI Peterborough.

There are eight wings on the male side radiating from a central hub and cellular accommodation is in both single and double; there are 8 double cells. The residential area is on two levels.

Each cell has integral sanitation and the wings each have shower facilities, a servery area plus an association area. There are no dining-out facilities on the male residential area. There is a Separation and Care Unit which holds 14 prisoners.

Reception Criteria

Normal reception arrangements. Peterborough accepts adult male prisoners from Cambridgeshire and females from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.


  • Hobbies kits
  • In-cell power
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • Own clothes (all)
  • Playstation (Enhanced only)
  • Television (£1 per week - 50p in double cell)

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Mon: 07:15, 13:30 and 18:00
Tue: 07:15, 13:30 and 18:00
Wed: 07:15, 13:30 and 18:00
Thu: 07:15, 13:30 and 18:00
Fri: 07:15, 13:30 and 18:00
Sat: 08:15 - 12:30 & 13:30 - 17:30
Sun: 08:15 - 12:30 & 13:30 - 17:30


Mon: No Association
Tue: 18:00 - 19:45
Wed: 18:00 - 19:45
Thu: 18:00 - 19:45
Fri: 18:00 - 19:45
Sat: 08:15 - 12:30 & 13:30 - 17:30
Sun: 08:15 - 12:30 & 13:30 - 17:30

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There is an excellent gymnasium and cardio-vascular room on each side of the prison.

Sports available include;

  • Astro-Turf Pitch
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Hockey
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Pilates
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training


  • Healthy Lifestyle Course
  • Heartstart Course (Female prisoners only)
  • Tackling Drugs through PE

The female prisoners have an outdoor games court and trim trail.
The male prisoners have an outdoor Astroturf football pitch.

Both sports centres provide a range of sports qualifications for prisoners.

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Once during the week and once at weekends.

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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 Peterborough is: Tim Harling

As well as the Co-ordinating Chaplain there are Anglican, Catholic, Free Church and Muslim Chaplains.

The Chaplaincy arrange sessional chaplains for all other faith groups.

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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 this prison is commissioned by:
East of England Health & Justice Commissioning
Primary Care Provider:
No further information provided



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Classes available include

  • Art/Crafts
  • Business Studies
  • Clait
  • Clait Plus
  • Communication Skills
  • Drug Awareness
  • ESOL
  • Learn Direct
  • Literacy
  • Money Management
  • Numeracy
  • Pre-release Course
  • Stories Connect
  • Understanding Self and Others



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


To read their latest report click here

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NOTE: Not all employment or courses are available to both male and female prisoners


  • Food Safety
  • Horticulture
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Manual Handling

Male Only

  • Food Preparation
  • Laundry
  • Servicing White Goods
  • Woodwork

Female Only:

  • Cookery Skills
  • Hairdressing
  • Holistic & Beauty Therapy
  • Recycling

 The Kleaning Academy – industrial cleaning skills and health and safety qualifications are taught providing graduates with vocational qualifications and practical training (both sides of the prison)

The Bridge – Holistic Centre providing a range of vocational and educational training programmes aimed at improving self esteem and self management alongside vocational qualifications in hair, beauty and holistic therapies (female only)

Renaissance Hair Salon – providing an accredited training programme for trainee stylists, as well as a valuable hairdressing service for women.

Manufacturing/Light Assembly workshops – contract services with local businesses to provide manufacturing, assembly and packaging services (male side only)

Eco Arts Workshop – Arts led work for female prisoners including partnerships with Peterborough City Council community arts and recycling projects (female side only).

Breaking the Cycle – A Restorative Justice partnership with Cambridgeshire Constabulary and The Big Issue, refurbishing abandoned bikes and donating them through the ‘Big Issue' to day centres and charities (male side).

Painting and Decorating – Training provided in painting and decorating with working parties assisting with the upkeep of the prison (both sides of the prison)

Grounds and Gardens - Training provided in grounds work and gardening with working parties assisting with the upkeep of the prison (both sides of the prison)


Accreditied Qualifications at Peterborough

  • Art – OCN
  • Beauty and Holistic Therapies – OCN
  • Bicycle Repair and Maintenance – OCN
  • British Safety Executive H&S Level 1
  • Citizenship - NCFE
  • City and Guilds NVQ /SVQ Level 1 – Hospitality (Food Preparation and Cooking)
  • CLAIT and CLAIT Plus – OCR
  • Developing Cookery Skills - OCN
  • Drug Awareness - NCFE
  • Electrical Appliance Reconditioning - OCN
  • Electrical Appliance Workshop Practice – OCN
  • Employability Skills - OCN
  • Equality and Diversity - NCFE
  • Fault Finding and Diagnostics – OCN
  • Food Safety Level 2 (CIEH)
  • Hairdressing - OCN
  • Literacy – AQA and OCR
  • Manual Handling (CIEH)
  • Mentoring Skills - OCN
  • Money Management - NCFE
  • Numeracy – AQA and OCR
  • Personal and Social Development – OCN ESOL – OCN
  • Problem-solving in the Workplace - OCN
  • Sewing Machine Skills – OCN
  • Warehousing – OCN
  • Work Skills – OCN
  • Working with Others – Open College Network 


Current Wages

Employed: £1.00 - £1.50 per session
Education: £1.00 per session attended
Retired: £3.25 per week
Long term sick: £3.25 per week

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  • Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS)
  • Short Duration programme

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The Link - a one-stop information, advice and guidance centre for accommodation, debt and employment issues, appointments with partnerships agencies & resettlement providers, induction and pre release programmes and self management programmes (both sides of the prison).


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 16

No of Visitors Permitted

3 adults and unlimited children


Prison is a life stager


What Stage

Stage 1

Mother & Baby Unit


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Ministry of Justice Performance Rating for this prison: 2

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: 24.5 (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.

Parliamentary Information
CONSTITUENCY: Peterborough
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Stewart Jackson (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. Enclose a letter detailing who the PO/Cheque is for and who it is from.

  • Postal Orders; Make these payable to 'The Governor' and write the prisoner's full name and number plus your own name and address on the reverse.
  • Cheques: Make these payable to 'The Governor' and write the prisoner's full name and number on the reverse, plus your name and address.

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]. Include your full detail in an accompanying letter or note. It takes about a week for the money to be credited to the prisoner.

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


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: 01733 217500 ext 5705

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.



HMP Peterborough holds both male and female prisoners.
This inspection carried out separate checks on the male and female sections.
Last Inspection by HMCIP: 4 – 8 April 2011 - Announced inspection
Report Dated: July 2011
Published: September 2011

They said:
“HMP Peterborough is a Category B local prison separately holding male and female prisoners and is a designated Young Offenders Institution for young women. We have reported on the male and female prisoners separately but the wide and complex range of prisoners held was an important part of the overall context for both parts of the prison.

“ At the time of the inspection, Peterborough held 480 men.

“ The prison had recently been chosen, with much fanfare, as the first pilot for the government’s ‘payment by results’ scheme funded by a social impact bond (SIB). The inspection was not an evaluation of the pilot, but did create an opportunity to make some observations on how it was working.

“ The men’s prison had improved since our last inspection and there were encouraging signs that it was on an upward trajectory.

“ The prison was a generally safe environment but relatively high numbers of men said they had felt unsafe at some time. Although fewer said they actually felt unsafe at the time of the inspection, this indicated a need to take more account of information from prisoners in developing effective violence reduction and anti-bullying strategies. Measures to support prisoners at risk of suicide or self harm were very good. Work to reduce both the supply of and demand for drugs was given appropriate priority. Most prisoners had a good induction and prisoners had an opportunity to meet a range of staff in the Link Centre, which provided resettlement services. Connections peer workers also provided pointers to the range of support available, though not all prisoners understood the peer support role or what was done on their behalf. The segregation unit was decent and professionally run. Use of force was not high.

“ An unsuitable mix of prisoners on the first night and induction wing meant that prisoners, vulnerable because of their offence, had to spend much of their time locked up. We were concerned that vulnerable prisoners who subsequently broke a ‘voluntary’ compact would be moved from the vulnerable prisoners’ wing to a general landing, which was a breach of the prison’s responsibility to protect them from harm.

“ Staff-prisoner relationships had much improved since our last inspection with a more developed, if not wholly effective, personal officer scheme. Living conditions were clean and decent, although some cells designed for one were shared and too cramped. Diversity work was effectively led by the director. However, residential staff were over-reliant on the specialist diversity team to provide support for foreign national prisoners rather than sorting out some basic issues themselves. Health care services were good but there were problems with the appointment system, leading to a high rate of non-attendance at clinics.

“ Time out of cell and the number of activity places were better than in most local prisons but there still not enough activities to keep everyone occupied, and some men spent too long locked in their cells. When we checked in the working part of the day, nearly a third of men were locked behind their doors. The work training and education that was on offer was generally of good quality, but the range of qualification obtainable was limited and at too low a level.

“ The SIB funded an impressive range of resettlement services for men serving sentences of less than 12 months, and investors would obtain a return dependent on the outcomes achieved. The process involved an initial assessment by staff (and peer mentors) employed or trained by the St Giles Trust to identify the actions required to reintegrate the prisoner back into the community and a through the gate service to meet those needs. The pilot was in its early stages but certainly looked promising, and for the group of men eligible, provided the best reintegration support we have seen in a local prison.

“ However, it was hard to avoid the impression that this was an initiative ‘hosted’ by the prison rather than one that was integrated into its everyday work. The prison’s business plan and resettlement strategy were not based on a comprehensive needs analysis and there was little planning to meet the needs of men not included in the pilot, such as the significant proportion of unconvicted prisoners. There was little evidence of a whole prison approach to resettlement, including involving personal officers to ensure that the prison took full advantage of the benefits the payments by results pilot offered.

“ Overall, it is clear that Peterborough men’s prison is an improving institution that has made commendable progress. The good environment and staff-prisoner relationships create the necessary foundation for further development.”

Nick Hardwick July 2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click Here to read the full report

“HMP Peterborough is a Category B local prison separately holding male and female prisoners and is a designated Young Offenders Institution for young women. We have reported on the male and female prisoners separately but the wide and complex range of prisoners held was an important part of the overall context for both parts of the prison.

“ At the time of the inspection, Peterborough held 360 women.

“ The women’s prison had improved significantly since our last inspection. However, the wide range of women held created a structural barrier to further progress. The prison provided good or reasonably good outcomes across the range of the healthy prison areas, but it struggled to provide the necessary range of inputs to meet the needs of young adult women and those serving indeterminate sentences, particularly those at the beginning of life sentences. Peterborough had taken on these roles when HMP Bullwood Hall had been re-roled to take male foreign national prisoners. Bullwood Hall had a specialist role for these two groups and had been resourced accordingly. In the current setting, these young adults and lifers were minorities within a large local prison with a constantly changing population of remand and short-sentenced women.

“ In our 2006 report, we noted that young adult women had been received with little opportunity to prepare a suitable regime. It was also proposed that the prison should take lifers when there was no experience in dealing with them and had no psychology input, even though psychological assessments form a vital part of the first stage of a life sentence. We recommended that Peterborough should not undertake a specialist first stage lifer role for women until there were resources for specialist assessments and a clearly worked out strategy explaining how individual needs would be met. In the 2008 inspection, we found that provision for lifers and young adult women was still underdeveloped. Work with lifers was underresourced and poorly supported with insufficient specialist staff. Living conditions were not suitable or adapted for women who would spend some years in the prison and there was no consideration of the specific needs of young adult women. At this inspection, while some of the previous deficiencies in sentence management had been addressed, there was still too little differentiation of a regime and provision for young adult women and lifers.

“ Because of the wide catchment area, some women had long journeys to the prison. Measures to identify and meet immediate needs on arrival required improvement. Like most women’s local prisons, many women had a range of acute needs reflected in high levels of self-harm – an average of 225 incidents were reported each month involving 33 women. It was, therefore, positive to see some very supportive procedures to care for those at risk of self harm and suicide. Some women, poignantly but effectively, were distracted by the provision of colouring books. There were some excellent interventions for women with alcohol and drug problems, including robust but appropriate challenges to women’s drug and medication acquisitionrelated behaviour. Just under half (similar to comparable prisons) of women said they had felt unsafe at some time in the prison. We were pleased to see the prison developing new ways of tackling anti-social behaviour with greater attention given to dealing with the underlying causes of the problem. The segregation unit was decent and professionally run with a focus on care. The use of force was not high.

“ Staff-prisoner relationships had much improved since our last inspection and were mostly very good. Personal officer work was particularly good but there were too many male officers, and on one occasion we found a single male officer in charge of the mother and baby unit overnight, which was inappropriate. The unit itself provided a safe and supportive environment. Living conditions were clean and decent, although some cells designed for one were shared and cramped. Diversity work was effectively led by the director and deputy director. However, residential staff were over-reliant on the specialist diversity team to support foreign national prisoners rather than resolving some basic issues themselves. The quality of health care services was good, but there were problems with the appointments system and a high rate of non-attendance at clinics. It was unacceptable that women did not have the option of seeing a female GP.

“ Time out of cell and the number of activity places were better than in most local prisons, but those without an activity spent too long locked in their cells. When we checked in the working part of the day, almost a quarter of women were locked behind their doors. The learning and skills strategy was too generic and covered both male and female prisoners – there was insufficient focus on the needs of young women and those serving indeterminate sentences. The work training and education that was on offer was generally good, but the range of qualification obtainable was limited and at too low a level.

“ The resettlement strategy was not based on a comprehensive needs analysis, and the regime, interventions and services were not sufficiently tailored to the specific needs of the wide range of women held by the prison. There was no formal custody planning for women on remand or serving less than 12 months. There was a satisfactory range of interventions and services to support the resettlement of most women when they left the prison, but was not always sufficiently well targeted. As an example, recent OASys data indicated a much higher need for provision for young adult women with alcohol problems, but nothing different or specific for this group had been provided.

“ Even so, most women at Peterborough are held safely and decently and many benefit from a range of effective interventions to help them resettle successfully when they leave the prison and reduce the risk of reoffending.”

Nick Hardwick July 2011
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 IMDs 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: January 2014


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Issue : December 2014

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

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