Select Committee on Home Affairs First Report



HMYOI Aylesbury (5 February 2004)

In 1969, HMYOI Aylesbury was designated a prison for young adult males offenders aged 17-21 serving long term sentences. In October 1989, following changes in the custodial sentencing policy and management of young offenders, Aylesbury was designated a long-term young offender institution from prisoners aged 18-20 and this remains its current role. It holds prisoners on the escape list and has a population of up to 50 life-sentenced prisoners. Some prisoners will spend three years in the establishment. Re-offending rates within this age group are high: 76% of young adults are convicted within two years.

Statistics (as at May 2003)[311]

No of prisoners held: 350

Certified normal allocation: 353

Operational capacity: 355

Last full inspection: 28 April - 2 May 2003

Residential units

A, B and C Wings are of a Victorian-style prison, with A Wing already having gone through a refurbishment programme. B and C Wings went through a refurbishment programme in 2003. A Wing is a drug free wing holding up to 66 young men. B Wing is classed as a general wing and holds up to 66 young men. D Wing (built in 1997) is the induction wing and holds up to 57 young men. E wing (built in 1997) is designated an enhanced wing and holds up to 72 young men. F Wing (about 35 years old) is classified as the 'poor copers' wing. It holds young men completing the Sex Offender Treatment Programme. Its full capacity is 48 young men. G Wing (about 35 years old) houses the therapeutic community and the anti-bullying support unit. It holds up to 48 young men.

HMP Brockhill (29 April 2004)

HMP Brockhill is a local prison for women, serving ten Crown Courts and associated Magistrates Courts. It was opened as a purpose-built remand centre in May 1965, originally accommodating 115 men and 23 women. It began as a satellite of Birmingham prison but became managerially independent in 1967. From 1968-1991, HMP Brockhill ceased to be a women's establishment and was exclusively used to house male prisoners.

In 1991, HMP Brockhill was redesignated as a women's training prison. It became a local prison in 1997. The catchment area for the prison is large: currently Brockhill is the only women's local prison between Gloucester and Manchester. Most prisoners, however, come from Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

The Governor is Barbara Treen (appointed 22 May 2002).

Statistics (as at November 2001)[312]

    Average daily population: 151

    Cost per place per annum: £29,266

    Cost per prisoner Place: £30,570

    Certified Normal Accommodation: 167

    Operational capacity: 167

    Last full inspection: November 1998

Residential units

Remand and convicted prisoners held on 4 wings. Until 18 March 2004, Brockhill had a small unit for juveniles (14 places).

HMP Coldingley (20 May 2004)

HMP Coldingley is a Category C industrial training prison. It opened in 1969 as a Category B industrial prison. In 1993, it was redesignated as a Category C trainer prison and in 1995/6 the prison was re-assigned as an industrial prison.

HMP Coldingley accepts prisoners serving four years and over including life sentenced prisoners. The main aim of the prison (set out in the establishment's mission statement) is to increase the employability of prisoners post-release by providing opportunities to address offending behaviour and acquire qualifications and work experience.


    Operational Capacity (as at February 2004): 370[313]

    Cost per place per annum (2000) £18,811.[314]

    Last full inspection: June 2000.

    Prison population: at the time of HMCI 2000 Report, 66% of the convicted population had been awarded sentences of between 4 and 10 years, with drug offences being the most common type of offence (33%). 53% of the prison population were white and 38% were black. The majority of the prison population were from the London and Surrey areas whilst 7% were foreign nationals.

Residential units

Each of the main wings, A, B, C and F wings, has four landings with offices, an association room, a launderette, a storeroom, showers and three card telephones. All cells are single except cells on F wing.

Prison Work

The Executive Summary of HM Chief Inspector's report of the latest inspection of the prison stated that "it was difficult for us to establish exactly what the designation [i.e. 'industrial'] meant in practice and how it related to addressing prisoners' offending behaviour, individual needs and preparation for release."[315]

At the time of the inspection in June 2000, HMP Coldingley employed approximately 50% of its prisoners in workshops which offered "good to high quality work and without doubt helped to encourage them in their work habit and to save money from enhanced wages in preparation for release." However, the report was critical that the emphasis was "too strongly biased towards production and revenue generation at the expense of offering a wider range of opportunities to improve employability on release".

The Chief Inspector of Prisons suggested that the following initiatives should be considered:

    (i)  work based qualifications;

    (ii)  work experience on temporary release;

    (iii)  contacts with employment services and job centres.

The report queried the efficacy of the 'integrated regime' at HMP Coldingley, noting that "most departments felt or were made to feel that they existed simply to support the workshops" and "some prisoners were financially disadvantaged by leaving the workshops for regime reasons beyond their control such as random mandatory drug testing, voluntary drug testing and parole interviews which would not occur if the regime was, indeed, fully integrated."

HMP Elmley (20 January 2004)

HMP Elmley is a purpose-built local prison. Opened in 1992, an additional block was added in 1997. In April 2003, Elmley became the sole local prison serving the Kent courts.

Statistics (as at May 2003)[316]

    No of prisoners held (as at 12 May 2003): 985

    Certified normal allocation: 760

    Operational capacity: 985

    Last full inspection: 30 April - 4 May 2001

    Last un-announced follow-up inspection: 12-14 May 2003

Residential units

Houseblock 1 holds mainly trial and remand prisoners. It includes the induction regime and has a population of 179. Houseblock 2 holds uncategorised prisoners and any overspill of trial and remand prisoners. It also houses convicted young prisoners. And contains the drug strategy programme. It has a population of 179. Houseblock 3 holds mainly sentenced category C and uncategorised prisoners waiting transfer or labour. Its population is 178. Houseblock 4 houses the vulnerable prisoner unit. It contains sex offender treatment programme. It has a population of 178. Houseblock 5 holds mainly enhanced-status category C and D prisoners awaiting transfers, as well as core workers, such as kitchen workers. Its population is 240.

HMP Grendon (5 February 2004)

HMP Grendon houses 231 residents in category B secure conditions. Grendon opened in 1962 as an 'experimental prison' running a series of therapeutic communities in which therapy is the core business. Therapeutic community process has evolved with a focus on group work.

Further information on HMP Grendon is given in paragraphs 236-40 of the Report.

HMP Springhill (5 February 2004)

HMP Springhill is an open, category D establishment working on the resettlement of prisoners. It opened in 1953 as an open establishment. HMP Springhill is adjacent to and jointly managed with HMP Grendon. Historically, the needs of HMP Grendon have taken precedence and HMP Springhill has lacked its own separate identity. The current management recognises that this has impeded the development of HMP Springhill and has sought to increase the independence of the two prisons. However, at the time of HMIP Inspection in July 2003, many services continued to be shared by the two prisons and even performance measures were recorded jointly.

Statistics (as at July 2003)[317]

    No of prisoners held: 312

    Cost per place per annum: £10,904

    Certified normal allocation: 336

    Operational capacity: 336

    Last announced inspection: July 2003

Until recently, prisoners have been screened for suitability before being accepted at HMP Springhill, but because of population pressures prisoners are received from overcrowded local prisons without screening. Many of these prisoners are serving short sentences and were not prepared for life in an open prison.

Residential units

Nine huts, J-S, each have 22 places, with single and double accommodation. T hut is the induction unit with 18 places, all double accommodation. X unit has 40 places, with single, en-suite toilet, shower and washing facilities. Y and Z units also have 40 places, with single, en-suite toilet.

HMP Standford Hill (20 January 2004)

HMP Standford Hill is a category D (open) prison accommodating sentenced adult males.

Statistics (as at 7 January 2002)[318]

    No. of prisoners held: 308

    Certified normal allocation: 384

    Operational capacity: 384

    Last full inspection: 7-11 January 2002.

Residential units

Prisoners are housed in two detached wings that date from 1986. Accommodation is in single cells and prisoners have privacy keys. Lavatories and showers are provided communally for each landing.

HMP Swaleside (20 January 2004)

HMP Swaleside is a category B training prison for adult male sentenced prisoners, normally those sentenced to 4+ years. It is a first and second stage Lifer Centre, holding around 300 life sentence prisoners.

Statistics (as at July 2002)[319]

    No. of prisoners held (as at July 2002): 770

    Certified normal allocation: 747

    Operational capacity: 777

    Last announced inspection: July 2002

Residential units

A Wing has no specialised purpose. B Wing houses the Kainos community. C and F Wings house the Lifer Units. D Wing is the Induction wing. E Wing houses the drugs treatment unit and voluntary testing unit.

311   Source: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of an Announced Inspection of HMYOI Aylesbsury, 28 April-2 May 2003 Back

312   Source: HM Chief Inspector Report of an Unannounced Inspection of HMP and YOI Brockhill 12-15 November 2001 Back

313   HM Prison Service website at as at 16 February 2004 Back

314   Source: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of a Full Announced Inspection of HMP Coldingley, 12-16 June 2000 Back

315   HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of a Full Announced Inspection of HMP Coldingley, 12-16 June 2000 Back

316   HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of an Unannounced Follow-up Inspection of HMP Elmley, 12-14 May 2003  Back

317   HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of an Announced Inspection of HMP Springhill, 21-25 July 2003 Back

318   HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of a Full Announced Inspection of HMP Standford Hill, 7-11 January 2002.  Back

319   HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Report of an Announced Inspection of HMP Swaleside, 15-19 July 2002 Back

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