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HMYOI PORTLAND Prison Regime Info


104 The Grove Easton Portland Dorset DT5 1DL image of HMYOI PORTLAND prison

Phone No.

01305 715600

Governor / Director

Russ Trent


Male YOI


South West

Operational Capacity


Cell Occupancy

Listener Scheme


First Night Centre



Chair: Buffy Sacher
Vice Chair: Prudence Keely Davies

Visitor Info Page

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Online Library documents for HMYOI PORTLAND

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Young Offenders' Institution for young men aged 18 to 21.

Portland opened in 1848 and held convict adults until 1921, when it was converted into a Borstal. It has been a Young Offender Institution since 1988

The Prison's accommodation is in nine house blocks. Benbow, Raleigh, Drake, Nelson, Grenville, Rodney, Hardy, Collingwood, and Beaufort.
Rodney and Hardy have electronic night sanitation, the others have integral sanitation. Grenville House is an Induction Unit, Beaufort is a Skills Development Unit, Raleigh is the Resettlement wing and Collingwood a 'Super enhanced' Wing. There is also a Care and Control Unit.

Reception criteria:
The Prison will only accept Prisoners serving less than 10 years. The establishment is unable to accept Prisoners who have been segregated under Rule 49 (GOOD or Own Request) at any time during the 3 month period prior to transfer, except by prior arrangement with the Governor.

The Prison will not accept Prisoners with outstanding Court appearances, outstanding external medical appointments or who require 24 hour medical care, location on ground floor accommodation, long term psychiatric treatment or who are unable to use stairs.

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Full-time sports academies available.


Various PE courses including Gym Instructor (level 1 and 2), Coaching awards, British Weight lifters Association Leaders (BAWLA). Open College network In Sports Activity, Understanding Fitness Diet and Nutrition, RLSS Royal Life Saving Society bronze medallion.

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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 Portland is: Paul Thompson


Faith Traditions represented on the Chaplaincy Team:
Buddhism, Church of England, Free Church, Hindu, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Latter Day Saints, Pagan, Quaker, Roman Catholic and Sikh

"We come from a wide range of religious traditions but we work together as one Team.

We are assisted by a large number of volunteers. Some of these assist with groups, attend worship or do one-to-one work.

Assist with personal or family issues
Help with spiritual or faith matters
Support you if things are difficult
Provide someone to listen
Offer Faith Groups
Offer one-to-one work about loss and bereavement, including memorial services if requested.

We each follow a spiritual path but we do not push any religion at you – if you follow a faith tradition or want to learn about one, we will help you. Whatever you believe we as Chaplains want to take you seriously, listen to you and help you with your issues.

Tuesday Club is a Church of England/Free Church based session and is held on Tuesday mornings for 1-to-1 pastoral and bereavement support sessions. We also use group based mediation/reflection exercises.

Qur’an Study Groups One group meets on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday mornings and afternoons with the Imam to explore Islam, the teaching of the Qur’an and how to apply those teachings in daily life. Some sessions are led by a visiting Brother from a Muslim Resettlement Agency.

If you follow Shia Islam and would be interested in seeing a visitor from a Shia agency we work with with, then please contact the Muslim Chaplain.

Foundations for Living is a Church of England/Free Church programme within the chaplaincy meeting on Thursday mornings. This is made up of units of study each of which take about 8 weekly sessions. These look at Christian teaching and how to apply it to issues in life.

Catholic Teaching and Discussion Group Meets on Thursday afternoons to learn more of the Catholic faith and how to live it - using prayer, discussion and DVDs.

We have other special groups throughout on an occasional basis to mark special religious seasons and for other special reasons.

We also have links with community chaplaincy groups that can provide mentors to support people in a range of ways when they leave prison."


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NHS Healthcare Information for Portland

Prison Healthcare Manager: Beverly Watling
Tel: 01305 825600

PCT: Dorset Primary Care Trust
South West Strategic Health Authority

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

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

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

Contact Information

Tel:: 01305 361285
Email: PALS@dorset-pct.nhs.uk

PALS Officer
NHS Dorset
Hillfort House
Poundbury Road
DT1 2PN.

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

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Western College

Career Information & Advice Services (CIAS)
Tribal Education Ltd
Head office: 87-91 Newman Street, London W1T 3EY
Tel: 020 7323 7100

Education courses (part and full time) which include Comprehensive Assessment and delivery for those from pre entry through to level 3 qualifications.


The range of courses covers;

• Functional Skills Maths (all levels)
• Functional Skills English (all levels)
• ESOL (not accredited)
• IT (E3, L1, L2)
• Maintenance Operations (Construction) (L2)
• Site Carpentry (L2)
• Bricklaying (L2)
• Painting and Decorating (L2)
• Practical Horticulture Skills (L2)
• Barbering NVQs (L2)
• NVQ Diplomas in Food Production and Cooking (L2)
• Certificates In Introduction to the Hospitality Industry (L1)
• Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services Skills (L2)
• Certificate in Sport (L1)
• Certificate in Fitness Instructing (L2)
• Certificate In Progression (L2)
• Creative Craft using Art and Design (L1)
• Employability (L1)
• Introduction to Culinary Skills (L1)
• Customer Service (L1)


Fathers Inside

Support is also available for those on distance learning options.



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

Last Inspection Date: 16/07/2004
To read their report click here

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Vocational Training includes 

Animal Welfare
Building Operatives
Carpentry and Joinery
CSCS (with card being available)
Fork Lift Truck
Hard Landscaping
Motor Cycle Maintenance
Motor Mechanics
Multi-Skills in Construction
Painting and Decorating
Performing Manufacturing Operations
Steelworks and Rail Track.

There is also the Laundry and Clothing Exchange Service.

Embedded literacy and Numeracy are part of all vocational courses.

Emergency First Aid, Food Hygiene and Health and Safety are available in the first two weeks for all.

All areas of employment have industry relevant qualifications attached to them.


Learning aims recorded for Skills Funding Agency OLASS
Adult Literacy
Adult Numeracy
Advanced National Horticulture
Art and Design
Basic Construction Skills
Business Enterprise (QCF)
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)
Diagnostic Test in Literacy, 3 glh
Diagnostic Test in Numeracy, 3 glh
Diploma in Bricklaying (QCF)
Diploma in Plastering (QCF)
Diploma in Practical Horticulture Skills (QCF)
Employability Skills (Entry 3) (QCF)
Employability Skills (QCF)
Food Safety in Catering (QCF)
Functional Skills English (QCF)
Functional Skills Information and Communication Technology (QCF)
Functional Skills Mathematics (QCF)
Health and Safety in the Workplace
ICT Skills for Life
Interview Skills
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 1
Key Skills in Application of Number - level 3
Key Skills in Communication - level 1
Key Skills in Communication - level 2
Key Skills in Improving Own Learning and Performance
Key Skills in Problem Solving
Key Skills in Working with Others
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Health, Public Services and Care (SSA 1), PW A
Non-externally certificated - Entry Level, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14), PW A
NVQ Diploma in Barbering (QCF)
NVQ in Barbering
OCN Entry Level, PW A, Arts, Media and Publishing (SSA 9)
OCN Entry Level, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 1, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
OCN Level 2, PW A, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)
Personal and Social Development (Entry 2) (QCF)
Personal Budgeting and Money Management
Personal Effectiveness
Progression (QCF)
Speaking and Listening Skills for Adult Learners
Understanding Business and Enterprise Award
Vocational study not leading to a recognised qualification, Preparation for Life and Work (SSA 14)

Word Processing (Beginners)

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The is a Comprehensive Resettlement Programme which includes a two week course but also starts with a surgery 6 weeks prior to release to ensure needs are being met.


Family Days Available


Guardian Has To Stay


Own 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: 25.9 (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: £13,600,000 (2011-12)*
Approx cost per prisoner place (2010): £42,813

*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: Richard Drax (Conservative)

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here for link to Email a Prisoner website


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

Click Here for more information

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:
3-5 April 2012 Unannounced short follow-up inspection

Published: August 2012

Continuing Progress but concern over important safety recommendations

They said:
“Portland, located in a relatively remote part of Dorset, has operated, since its change of function in April 2011, as a combined adult category C training and YOI young adult facility. It has a capacity of 505.

“Our last full inspection in 2009 found a prison that had changed both its outlook and its outcomes, with a focus on providing a positive and rehabilitative experience for prisoners. This short follow-up inspection found that the prison had continued to make progress against most of our healthy prison tests. Progress concerning a number of important safety recommendations, however, was slow.

“Prisoners’ early experiences on arrival at Portland had improved little, with only adequate induction for young adults and otherwise quite weak arrangements. Governance concerning violence reduction was better but there was a worrying upward trend in levels of violence. Use of force was higher than we had previously seen but there was evidence that de-escalation techniques were deployed. The segregation unit was little used but its environment and regime required improvement. There had been limited progress on recommendations to address the problem of self-harm.

“The establishment was clean, which was commendable considering the age of many of the buildings. Further refurbishment was still required, but we were pleased that the appalling Rodney and Hardy wings, which we criticised heavily in the past, had now finally been demolished.

“Prisoners described the prison as being largely drug-free and there was a good focus on improving the drug strategy and better access to drug support services. The integrated drug treatment system (IDTS) had developed strongly since the last inspection. There had been good progress in health care and health staff were well integrated into the prison. Some prisoners complained about long waits to see health specialists, especially the dentist, but we found that waiting lists generally operated within the reasonable timescales.

“Unusually, prisoners raised very few complaints about the food with many commenting positively on its quality.

“Progress on diversity was mixed. The perceptions of minority groups were less positive than their counterparts, despite a good overarching strategy for diversity and equality. Arrangements for identifying and supporting prisoners with disabilities had, however, improved. Assessment of foreign national prisoners’ needs was generally good, as were arrangements for maintaining family contact.

“There was some good work in learning and skills and many of the strengths identified at the last inspection remained in place. The quality of workshops leading to real work opportunities was good and progression opportunities in learning and skills were improving. Unemployment was impressively low, but a lack of punctuality and attendance at activities needed to be addressed. PE arrangements for the general population were adequate and the sporting academies for football and rugby were a good and popular initiative.

“The strategic management of resettlement and offender management continued to be effective, supported by a good action plan. Links between offender supervisors at the prison and their community colleagues appeared to be better facilitated.

“Developing services for its new adult population appears to be Portland’s new challenge. Although this is, overall, a mixed report, the provision of regime remains good and there is a meaningful focus on resettlement. The apparent complacency around ensuring safety, however, required attention.“

Nick Hardwick May 2012
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Click Here to read the full report

Previous Report
by HMCIP: 6–10 July 2009 - announced inspection

They said
“Portland Young Offenders Institution has an unpropitious physical environment. It is in a remote location far away from most of its young offenders’ homes, mostly with old and forbidding buildings, some not fit for use. Until fairly recently, staff attitudes and approach were equally negative and outdated. This inspection, however, found a prison which had changed both its outlook and its outcomes: with a focus on trying to provide a positive and rehabilitative experience for the young men placed there, in spite of the physical difficulties of the site. Young offenders’ institutions are intrinsically volatile places. Portland was no exception, with a significant number of violent incidents and uses of force. Positive efforts had, however, been made to reduce violence and bullying and to prevent self-harm and suicide. The security department was alert to issues related to gangs or radicalisation, but neither appeared to be current serious problems. At the other end of the spectrum, there were good arrangements for the support and care of prisoners who struggled to cope on normal location.

“Relationships between staff and young prisoners were good and appropriate, with one of the best personal officer schemes we have seen in such establishments, strongly linked in to resettlement and sentence planning. In a prison where 40% of the population, but almost no staff, came from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, work on race and religious diversity was rightly prioritised. Efforts had been made to bring in black role models to assist with sentence planning and some activity. Nevertheless, black and minority ethnic and Muslim prisoners continued to have worse perceptions in some key areas than white and non-Muslim prisoners, particularly with regard to relationships with staff.

“Most units, and particularly the newer ones, were in good condition. However, there remained one unit, Rodney, with no integral sanitation, where conditions can only be described as squalid: breaching acceptable standards of health and safety and in general unkempt and uncared-for. This unit urgently needs to close, as its sister unit has already done.

“Managers at Portland had taken impressive and positive steps to try to provide a positive and purposeful experience for the young men held there. Nearly all were employed, and all but 7% were working towards an accreditation of some kind. There was a wide range of vocational training, engaging a number of outside agencies, employers and individuals. Work and training were integrated into sentence planning and resettlement work.

“The resettlement work itself was extremely good, particularly given the distance from home of many young men, most of whom came from the London area. All staff, including residential staff, were involved, and the prison had made positive attempts to engage with statutory and voluntary agencies in the areas from which most prisoners came. Although visits were problematic, given the prison’s location, there were positive attempts to ameliorate this, by giving young men extra phone calls, putting on a coach service, and employing a proactive family links worker.

“We have inspected other prisons recently, in unpromising locations in rural areas far from prisoners’ homes, where we have found managers and staff sunk into a condition of learned helplessness: expecting and providing little. This was far from the case at Portland. Managers recognised the problems of location and environment, but were nevertheless determined to create a space in which young men could have new and different opportunities. This had required a great deal of effort, both with external partners and, equally importantly, from the whole staff group. Sadly, both staff and managers were still let down by the unacceptable and insanitary accommodation in one unit, which should promptly be demolished; and there were still underlying issues of race and religion which will require continuing attention. Apart from that, this is a positive report on a prison which has travelled a considerable distance and is actively seeking to improve the life chances of the young men it holds.”

Anne Owers September 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: August 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
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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