Where We Work

There are 117 prisons in England and Wales. The category of a prison: A, B, C or D denotes its level of security. Category A is High Security and D is Low Security (“open prisons”). Most “closed” prisons are category B/C. Thirteen prisons are run by private companies and the rest by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (“HMPPS”).

Different prisons have different functions. “Local” prisons, hold people whilst they are on remand, awaiting trial, sentencing, or release. They are the penal equivalent to “A&E” and tend to be very challenging. “Training” prisons, hold people serving longer sentences, in their last few years. They run prison “industries” and the population works to prepare them for life outside. People with no right to remain in the UK are held in Foreign National Prisons and are, generally, deported. Several prisons just house people with sexual convictions. Children are sentenced to “Secure Training Units” (STC’s). The age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10 (the lowest in Europe). Young Adults under 25 are often held in “Youth Offender Institutions” (YOI’s). Women have separate prisons. Five percent of the prison population is female.