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HMP PRESTON Prison Regime Info


2 Ribbleton Lane Preston Lancashire PR1 5AB image of HMP PRESTON prison

Phone No.

01772 444550

Governor / Director

Paul Holland


Male Local


North West

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy


Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Christopher Creelman
Vice Chair: Pamela Hutton

Visitor Info Page

HMP PRESTON Visitor Info
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HMP Preston is a category B local prison.


Preston is substantially a Victorian radial prison. Its wings were constructed between 1840 and 1895 on a site occupied since 1790.

The prison closed in 1931, reopened for military use in 1939 and as a civilian prison in 1948.  It became a local prison in 1990.


  • A1 landing Segregation unit
  • A2 landing Reintegration unit. Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • A wing (3, 4 and 5s) Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • B wing Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • C1 landing Drug dependency unit. Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • C2 landing Vulnerable prisoner unit. Mixed convicted and remand prisoners.
  • C3 and 4s Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • D wing First night centre and induction. Mixed convicted and remand prisoners
  • F wing Convicted risk-assessed workers.
  • G wing Convicted risk-assessed workers.

Reception Criteria

Normal reception arrangements: HMP Preston is a category B local prison. It accepts all adult male prisoners from Crown Courts and Magistrates Courts serving Lancashire and Cumbria. Reception receives prisoners Monday through to Saturday. HMP Preston also serves the courts with two video court links.


  • In-cell power
  • Own clothes (Enhanced only)
  • Playstation (Enhanced only)
  • Television (50p per week)

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Mon: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:00 & 18:00 - 19:45
Tue: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:00 & 18:00 - 19:45
Wed: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:00 & 18:00 - 19:45
Thu: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:00 & 18:00 - 19:45
Fri: 08:00 - 12:00 & 13:30 - 17:00
Sat: 08:00 - 12:00 & 13:30 - 17:00
Sun: 08:00 - 12:00 & 13:30 - 17:00


Mon: 14:00 - 16:30 & 18:00 - 19:45
Tue: 14:00 - 16:30 & 18:00 - 19:45
Wed: 14:00 - 16:30 & 18:00 - 19:45
Thu: 14:00 - 16:30 & 18:00 - 19:45
Fri: 14:00 - 16:30
Sat: A, B & C wings 10:30 - 11:00: All wings 14:00 - 16:30
Sun: A, B & C wings 10:30 - 11:00: All wings 14:00 - 16:30

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Sports available include;

  • Body Pump
  • Circuit Training
  • Football
  • Indoor Cricket
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Minor Games
  • Over 40s
  • Remedial
  • Spinning/Studio Cycling
  • Step Aerobics
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Training

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Once a week for 20 minutes.

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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 and may take part in Sentence Planning and be 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 Preston is: Tony Davies

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

Facilities for;

  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jehovah Witness
  • Jewish
  • Mormon
  • Pagan
  • Sikh

All other faiths can be ministered


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Specialist Clinics

  • CPN: Full time Mental Health Team including a Crisis Team
  • Dentist: 4 days a week
  • InReach: Full time Mental Health Team including a Crisis Team
  • Optician: Fortnightly
  • Physio: Outside Hospital
  • Podiatry: Monthly
  • Stop Smoking: Weekly courses run by Gym staff


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 Preston

Prison Healthcare Manager: Laura Walsh
Tel: 01772 444 550

PCT: Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust
North West Strategic Health Authority


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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 include;

  • Art
  • Basic Education
  • Computer Studies
  • Crafts
  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Graphic Design
  • Key Skills
  • Languages
  • Life and Social Skills
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Numeracy
  • Open University
  • Sign Language

Peer Mentoring. Level 2. National Open College Network (NOCN) accredited:
This is a new course, open to prisoners who have completed the AA’s 12 step programme and wish to mentor others undertaking drug and alcohol programmes.


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

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: 10/08/2009


Summary of grades awarded

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

To read their report click here

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Prison Workshops


Employment includes;

  • Catering
  • Industrial Cleaning
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Sports Studies
  • Thinking Skills

Vocational qualifications include;

  • CSCS
  • NVQ Catering
  • NVQ Painting & Decorating
  • NVQ Industrial Cleaning
  • Self-Employment


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Basic Construction Skills
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Diploma for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Food Safety for Manufacturing (QCF)
Food Safety for Retail (QCF)
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW B
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Languages, Literature and Culture (SSA 12), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Retail and Commercial Enterprise (SSA 7), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
QCF provision - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
Using ICT (Entry 3) (QCF)
Visual Arts Programme
Vocational study not leading to a recognised qualification, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
Vocational study not leading to a recognised qualification, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6)

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


Current Wages


Employed: £8.00 - £15.50
Education: £1.10 per session
Retired: £3.50
Long term sick: £3.50

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  • FOR
  • Short Duration Programme

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  • Job club
  • Job Centre+
  • Occasional seminars on self-employment and forums on specific employment (eg catering)


Lancashire Probation Trust
Tel: 01772 257734

Fax: 01772 887194


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

No limits

No of Visitors Permitted

Reasonable numbers

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

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 21.2 (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: £17,900,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £36,083
*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: Mark Hendrick (Labour)

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website


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: 01772 444550 ext 4657

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:
10–12 April 2012Unannounced short follow-up inspection

Published: September 2012

Maintaining a Positive Momentum

They said:
“At our last full inspection in 2009, we commended HMP Preston for performing reasonably well across all four of our tests of a healthy prison, in spite of old and cramped facilities and a transient population. At this follow-up inspection, we found that the establishment had maintained its positive momentum and had made sufficient progress against the recommendations of that report.

“ Prisoners’ safety was supported by improved reception facilities and processes, though the reception area remained too cramped. There was better provision for those in their early days in custody, but there were weaknesses in support for vulnerable people. Effective measures had been introduced to reduce the risk of violence between prisoners, which needed to be fully embedded, but too few staff had been trained to manage the risk of self-harm. Security arrangements were reasonable, and the use of CCTV, criticised as unclear in the previous report, had been clarified. Searching arrangements had improved, but governance of the use of force remained inadequate. There was now good joint working to support those with substance misuse problems.

“The personal officer scheme, commended at the previous inspection, had not developed strongly, but there had been good progress on equality issues. Further improvement was needed, however, in provision for the needs of foreign nationals. Better partnership working had led to improvements in primary health care, including mental health.

“ The wide range of activities described at the last inspection had been made more effective by more joined-up processes for allocation to work, and the active use of individual learning plans.

“ Work to reduce the risk of reoffending had improved with some access to courses for short- term prisoners. Offender management arrangements were effective for prisoners serving 12 months and above but custody planning for those on remand and short sentences was underdeveloped. The offending behaviour programmes offered had changed appropriately to match the population profile. A new visits facility provided a better environment for visitors, but better organisation was needed to improve visitors’ experience.

“ HMP Preston has maintained a satisfactory standard of prisoner care and custody over a considerable period and has continued with the positive response to the recommendations arising from the last inspection, particularly in equality and resettlement. For a local prison working with many outdated buildings, this report presents an encouraging picture, although there are several areas which could be improved through means which are within local management control.”

Nick Hardwick June 2012
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click Here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: 10–14 August 2009 - announced inspection

They said;
“HMP Preston is an overcrowded, largely Victorian, inner city local prison with a transient population of needy and sometimes challenging prisoners. Yet despite these constraints and demands, this announced full inspection found the prison to be performing reasonably well against all our tests of a healthy prison.

“The reception area remained inadequate, particularly given the large number of prisoners who had to be processed and the range of vulnerabilities that had to be managed, but staff still managed to provide a reasonable service. Most prisoners felt safe on their first night and first days were generally well managed. Prisoners at risk of self-harm were well supported, but violence reduction arrangements required strengthening.

“Security was generally proportionate but, in the effort to combat drug supply, there was an overuse of strip searches and squatting for new arrivals. There was also a perplexing array of cameras in cells, notably on the first night centre, drug dependency unit and segregation unit. Staff were unclear about the purpose of some of these cameras and there was a need to review their use and governance to ensure appropriate privacy and decency.

“Despite its age, the physical environment was generally clean and well maintained. Staff– prisoner relationships were good, supported by excellent consultation arrangements and a functioning personal officer scheme. Work on diversity issues was developing, but black and minority ethnic, Muslim and foreign national prisoners reported more negatively than other prisoners on various aspects of the regime. Prisoners lacked confidence in the complaints system. Faith provision was good and health care was improving.

“Unlike many local prisons, Preston had managed to ensure that prisoners had a commendably large and consistent amount of time out of cell. They had a wide range of purposeful activities to attend, including well-managed education provision. There was also reasonable access to the library and to physical education.

“The strategic management of resettlement required further development, but the prison was appropriately focused on the assessment and allocation of its largely short-term population. An effective offender management unit ensured appropriate sentence and custody planning, although moving prisoners on to appropriate training prisons was proving difficult. Work on most of the resettlement pathways was satisfactory, but scope for development remained. Elderly, overcrowded, inner city local prisons such as Preston must manage a wide range of transient, needy and sometimes difficult prisoners in conditions largely designed and built in the 19th century. It is therefore a tribute to the commitment and dedication of staff and managers that this inspection found the prison to be performing reasonably well in each of the principal areas that we examine.”

Anne Owers December 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 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: September 2013

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December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
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> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
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> 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
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> 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
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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