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HMP RISLEY Prison Regime Info


Warrington Road Risley Warrington Cheshire WA3 6BP image of HMP RISLEY prison

Phone No.

01925 733000

Governor / Director

Jerry Spencer


Male Cat. C


North West

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Single and double

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Edward Doyle
Vice Chair: Francis McKenna

Visitor Info Page

HMP RISLEY Visitor Info
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Category C training prison. VP unit. Foreign National Hub


Risley opened in 1964 as a male and female remand centre. In 1989 the male part of the prison became a training prison. Although there were plans in the early 1990s to replace all the original buildings, some are still in use. The training prison was expanded further and refurbished in 2003 with the addition of a new wing (Glazebury). The sex offender population was relocated to separate residential areas in 2009 – Farnworth (now renamed the Fran Atkinson Wing) and Glazebury. In 2009, Risley became a hub for up to 200 foreign national prisoners. The regime at Risley had been enhanced since the last inspection through the development of a drug recovery unit on Culcheth Wing and the introduction of a therapeutic community on Elton Wing.


Appleton: 186 bed unit.

Birchmoor: 108 bed unit.

Ravensmoor: 12 bed unit described as a reintegration unit accommodating prisoners not sentenced for sex offences but who are otherwise vulnerable.

Culcheth: 196 bed unit, North side-location, IDTS unit, CARATs and PASRO teams

Daresbury: 196 bed unit. First night and induction unit on South side. 1 care suite and 1 safer/gated cell.

Elton: 173 bed unit (18 bed care and separation unit attached) 1 care suite and 1 safer/gated cell.

Croft: 18 bed care and separation unit - 1 gated cell.

Glazebury: 196 bed unit – sex offender population only.

Fran Atkinson: 28 bed unit - sex offender population only
Appleton, Culcheth, Daresbury, Elton and Glazebury are newer wings. They have open landings, each with two spurs (North and South), and are brighter and provide better visibility for staff. Birchwood and Farnworth are the oldest and smallest wings. Birchwood, Ravensmoor and Farnworth comprise all single cells are used only for one prisoner.

Reception Criteria

Risley is a Male category C training prison with an integrated VP (Vulnerable Prisoner) regime with access to the Sex Offender Treatment Programme. Risley is also a foreign national prisoner hub with UKBA staff working at the prison.


  • In-cell power
  • Own bedding (Enhanced)
  • Own clothes
  • Playstation
  • Television (£1 per week)

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Mon: 07:30 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:00
Tue: 07:30 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:00
Wed: 07:30 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:00
Thu: 07:30 - 12:00, 13:30 - 17:15 & 18:00 - 19:00
Fri: 07:30 - 12:00
Sat: 08:30 - 11:15 & 13:30 - 16:15
Sun: 08:30 - 11:15 & 13:30 - 16:15


Mon: 18:00 - 19:00
Tue: 18:00 - 19:00
Wed: 18:00 - 19:00
Thu: 18:00 - 19:00
Sat: 13:30 - 16:15
Sun: 13:30 - 16:15

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The PE Department offers students a chance to study towards the Focus gym instructor qualifications and other sport related accreditation.

Sports available include;

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit Training
  • Light Circuit Training
  • Over 40s
  • Over 50s
  • Pilates
  • Remedial
  • Soccer
  • Soft Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Loss Programme
  • Weight Training

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30 minutes per week.

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Every prison has a Chaplaincy department managed by a Coordinating Chaplain, 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 HMP Risley he is always seen by a Chaplain within 24 hours and is invited to register as a specific religion (if he has not already done so). Subsequent changes of a prisoner's registered religion are possible: the prisoner will be interviewed by the minister of the religion he seeks to leave as well as the minister of the religion he intends to join.

The Chaplaincy at HMP Risley centres on pastoral care. Chaplains act as a ‘listening ear’. They are heavily involved in safer custody work. They are represented at all major meetings in the prison. Courses and activities which may or may not have a religious theme are provided. Every prisoner has the right to practice their registered religion 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 01925 733333. 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 Risley is: Nigel Hawley

The Chaplaincy at HMP Risley consists of Church of England, Roman Catholic and Free Church Chaplains to provide worship and pastoral care for Christians. A full-time Muslim Chaplain does the same for Muslims, and there are sessional ministers provided for Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Jehovah's Witnesses and Quakers.


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Risley has level three Healthcare services with 24 hour nursing presence and on-call medical cover, however there are no in-patient beds. A wide range of primary care services are provided.


Specialist Clinics

Community Pharmacy
Community Psychiatric Support
GP run surgeries
Health Promotion
Nurse Practitioner clinics
Nurse Triage
Stop Smoking


NHS Healthcare Information for Risley

Prison Healthcare Manager: Mark Hopkins
Tel: 01925 733155

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Warrington Division
North West Strategic Health Authority

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS is there to help when you need advice, or wish to make a complaint. As a patient, relative or carer PALS provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns that you may have about any aspect of your NHS care.

The service aims to:
• advise and support patients, their families and carers
• provide information on NHS services
• listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries
• help sort out problems quickly on your behalf

PALS acts independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and where appropriate, relevant organisations to negotiate prompt solutions. If necessary they can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.


There is a PALS Champion on site, at the prison.

Contact Information

Tel: 0845 301 3005
Email: pals@bridgewater.nhs.uk


Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Warrington Division

Spencer House, 89 Dewhurst Road, Birchwood, Warrington WA3 7PGG

There is also a Dental Helpline for ALL NHS dental enquiries: 01702 226668

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The Manchester College
The Manchester College, Offender Learning Directorate, Fielden Compus, Burlow Manor Road M1 3HB
Tel: 0800 068 8585

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
Working Links
Head office: Unicorn House, Bromley, Kent BR1 1NX
Tel: 020 8212 8255

There is a comprehensive Education Programme offering Art and Design, IT, Social and Life Skills, a full range of Skills for Life qualifications and Higher Level Learning programme including Open University.

Classes include;

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



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


To read their latest report click here

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Prison Workshops
Charity x2
Contract Services x4
Desk Top Publishing
Single Portion Packing

A variety of work is available in areas such as the kitchen, laundry, stores, cleaning, gardens and the waste management unit. There is also work in the Braille and Bicycle Repair Workshops which are restorative justice projects sponsored by the Inside Out Trust. Vocational Training Courses are currently available in Painting and Decorating, Joinery, Hairdressing, Industrial Cleaning and Construction.

Risley is also part of the PICTA scheme which offers a high level of IT and networking skills to trainees interested in this type of work.

Vocational qualifications include;

  • Focus levels 1 & 2 (Gym)
  • Level 2 Diploma in Construction (VTC Courses)
  • Vocational Retail Training (NVQ 1)
  • SATRA (Laundry)
  • NVQ level 1 in Performing Manufacturing Operations
  • NVQ Level 1 in Packaging


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS

Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Art, Design and Creative Studies
Basic Construction Skills
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Advanced)
Certificate for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Certificate for IT Users (ECDL Part 1)
Certificate for IT users (ECDL Part 2)
Certificate for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Cleaning Operators' Proficiency Certificate
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
Diploma for IT Users (CLAiT Plus)
Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
Diploma in Bricklaying (QCF)
Diploma in Fitted Interiors (QCF)
Diploma in Painting and Decorating (QCF)
Diploma in Plastering (QCF)
ESOL Skills for Life
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 1)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 2)
ESOL Skills for Life (Entry 3)
Health and Safety at Work
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 2
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 2
Key Skills in Communication - level 3
Learning Support
Non-externally certificated - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
NQF - Entry Level, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
NQF - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 2, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW C
NQF - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
NQF - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
Practical skills/crafts, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
Preparing for a Business Venture
QCF provision - Level 1, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW A
QCF provision - Level 1, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
QCF provision - Level 1, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
QCF provision - Level 2, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment (SSA 5), PW C
QCF provision - Level 2, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
QCF provision - Level 3, Information and Communication Technology (SSA 6), PW B
Using ICT (Entry 3)
Using ICT (Entry 3) (QCF)

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


Current Wages


Employed: £7.45 - £9.79 (Enhanced high level work - £16.00)
Education: £7.45, £8.80 & £10.51 (IEP dependent)
Retired: £3.25
Long term sick: £3.25

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  • CALM - Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it
  • ETS - Enhanced Thinking Skills
  • Healthy Sexual Functioning Programme
  • P-ASRO
  • SOTP - Core Sex Offender Treatment Programmes
  • SOTP - Extended Sex Offender Treatment Programmes
  • Thinking Skills Programme (TSP)

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  • Job club
  • Job Centre+
  • Self employment classes


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own Children




Age Limits

Up to 16 years

No of Visitors Permitted

2 adults and 4 children

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

Average weekly hours of Purposeful Activity: 24.8 (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: £19,400,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £31,297
*The annual budget allocated to the governor covers all major costs of running the prison but excludes most costs related to education and healthcare.

Parliamentary Information
CONSTITUENCY: Warrington North
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Helen Jones (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.


It's cheaper than a second class stamp and faster than first class mail.


Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website

Drug Strategy

HMP Risley says;
"Prisoners with a drug problem are identified by mandatory drug testing, screening on reception or self referral. Arrangements can be made for detoxification, rehabilitation, treatment, education and counselling. A multi-disciplinary CARATS team works with prisoners who wish to address their drug issues. Transfers to rehabilitation units in other establishments are possible. Drug Awareness courses are available and counselling is provided by Lifeline. A Voluntary Drug Testing programme is in place."


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: 7 – 11 February 2011 - announced inspection
Report Dated: April 2011
Published: June 29th 2011

They said:
“HMP Risley is a training prison for men requiring a medium level of security. At the time of this announced inspection it held 1,082 male prisoners.

“ The prison has suffered historically from a poor reputation. At our last inspection in April 2008 inspectors found the prison was not performing sufficiently well in any area apart from resettlement. My predecessor noted that:

“ 'Worryingly, prisoners felt even more unsafe than in the past and a serious drug problem, with associated gang violence, was having a pervasive and pernicious effect. The establishment’s sprawling buildings and poor design added to the difficulties for staff, but there was no excuse for the squalor we found.'

“ On this inspection we found a prison transformed in many areas and reasonably good outcomes for prisoners in all areas. Nevertheless, there were still gaps and important areas where outcomes need to improve further.

“ It was clear that the prison had prepared thoroughly for our inspection and some improvements had been introduced only relatively recently. However, many of the changes were far more than cosmetic and demonstrated real improvements in the prison’s culture.

“ At our last inspection the environment had been squalid; now the prison was very clean. At our last inspection the prison had a significant drug problem and almost half the population said it was easy to get drugs. This time treatment programmes and measures to limit supply had significantly reduced the problem and prisoners told us they felt much safer as result. Likewise, at our last inspection staff-prisoner relationships were very poor. Now we found that regular and active management engagement had led to significant improvements.

“ Previously, many prisoners told us – with good reason – that they did not feel safe in the prison. This was particularly true of vulnerable prisoners. At this inspection, prisoners’ perception of their safety had much improved and it was good to see that the improvement was most marked for vulnerable prisoners.

“ These are all significant achievements and are a necessary foundation for the further improvements that are required.

“ Managerial oversight of the use of force was inadequate and we identified some incidents that caused us particular concern. Some punishments at disciplinary hearings were too severe. Work on diversity was rudimentary and this was reflected in the more negative perceptions of prisoners from minority groups. Foreign national prisoners had good specialist support provided by dedicated staff but staff as a whole showed little understanding of their needs.

“ Risley is a designated training prison. The quality of education, training and most work opportunities was good – but the quantity was simply insufficient. We found almost a quarter or prisoners locked in their cells in the working part of the day and many others were not fully occupied. There were insufficient opportunities for prisoners to exercise in the open air and association periods were too short, which created tensions around access to telephones and showers.

“ Resettlement, which had been an area of strength at the last inspection, had flat lined and there was no evidence of the further improvement we had hoped to see. In particular, opportunities to find and keep employment had reduced and there were few links with local employers. Work to help prisoners maintain or rebuild relationships with their families had slipped and had now fallen behind the improving standard we see in similar prisons.

“ There is still much to be done to ensure that the prison becomes a fully effective establishment that meets the range of prisoners’ diverse needs and prepares them appropriately for release through useful work and effective interventions. Nevertheless, Risley is a much safer, cleaner and more decent prison than before – a better and more purposeful place for prisoners (and as they often told us, a better place for the prison staff to work). The governor and the prison staff are to be commended on the improvements.”

Nick Hardwick April2011
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons”

Michael Spurr,
Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), said:
"I am pleased the Chief Inspector has recognised the efforts of the governor and prison staff to transform Risley into a safer and more purposeful establishment.
"Staff-prisoner relationships, prisoners' perceptions of safety and the supply and use of drugs have been among the areas where improvements have been made. This helps prisoners address their offending behaviour and reduce the likelihood of them reoffending on release, thereby protecting the public."

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: March 2012

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Inside Information


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

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

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

insideinformation Book

insideinformation book
The insideinformation book

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


Help and Support

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

Grants and Funding

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

Rules and Regulations

Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.

Glossary of Terms

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

Fact Sheets

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


Find a Solicitor

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

Find a Barrister

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

Address Finder

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

Prison Law pdf

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

Other Publications

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

Site Map

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

Contact Us

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



Inside Justice

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

Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage

insidejustice Cases

insidejustice Articles & Reviews

insidejustice Advisory Panel Members

insidejustice Sponsors page

insidejusticecontact details