Her Majesty's Prison Service

From Academic Kids

Her Majesty's Prison Service is the British Executive Agency reporting to the Home Office tasked with managing many of the prisons within the United Kingdom. The head of the prison service, the Director General, currently Phil Wheatley, reports to the Home Secretary and also works closely with the Prison Minister, a junior minister post within the Home Office. Early in 2004 it was announced that the Prison Service will be integrated into a new National Offender Management Service later in the year.

As of 2004, the Prison Service is responsible for the custody of about 72,000 prisoners in 138 prisons. The Prison Service employs around 44,000 staff.

The Service's statement of purpose states "Her Majesty's Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release." The Home Office's objective for prisons seeks "Effective execution of the sentences of the courts so as to reduce re-offending and protect the public".

Population statistics for the Service are published weekly. On the 9th January 2004 the Service housed 72,478 prisoners, of whom 58,170 were male aged over 21, 10,059 were male aged 15-21, 3,772 were female aged over 21 and 477 females aged 15-21.

The Prison Service does not manage all prisons within the UK. Currently there are seven prisons that have been designed, constructed, managed and financed (so-called DCMF prisons) privately. There are two further prisons that were built with public money but are managed privately. Two more DCMF prisons, in Ashford and Peterborough, are under construction or awaiting their first prisoner. Private prisons are subject to scrutiny by the Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in a similar manner to prisons run by the public Prison Service.

On the 6th January 2004, Former Home Secretary David Blunkett announced that the Prison Service, together with the National Probation Service, is to be integrated into a new National Offender Management Service. The Service, Blunkett said, will be "a new body to provide end-to-end management of all offenders". The Prison Service will still have a Director General, who will report to the Chief Executive of the new agency. As of January 2005, the changes had yet to be introduced, with the relevant parliamentary bill still awaiting approval from MPs (a copy of the proposed bill from the Stationery Office (http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200405/ldbills/016/2005016.pdf)).

List of establishments

As of the start of 2004, the following establishments are managed by the prison service:

Acklington, Albany, Altcourse, Ashfield, Ashwell, Askham Grange, Aylesbury, Bedford, Belmarsh, Birmingham, Blakenhurst, Blantyre House, Blundeston, Brinsford, Bristol, Brixton, Brockhill, Buckley Hall, Bullingdon, Bullwood Hall, Camp Hill, Canterbury, Cardiff, Castington, Channings Wood, Chelmsford, Coldingley, Cookham Wood, Dartmoor, Deerbolt, Doncaster, Dorchester, Dovegate, Dover, Downview, Drake Hall, Durham, East Sutton Park, Eastwood Park, Elmley, Erlestoke, Everthorpe, Exeter, Featherstone, Feltham, Ford, Forest Bank, Foston Hall, Frankland, Full Sutton, Garth, Gartree, Glen Parva, Gloucester, Grendon, Guys Marsh, Haslar, Hatfield, Haverigg, Hewell Grange, High Down, Highpoint, Highpoint South, Hindley, Hollesley Bay Colony, Holloway, Holme House, Hull, Huntercombe, Kingston, Kirkham, Kirklevington, Lancaster Castle, Lancaster Farms, Latchmere House, Leeds, Leicester, Lewes, Leyhill, Lincoln, Lindholme, Littlehey, Liverpool, Long Lartin, Low Newton, Lowdham Grange, Maidstone, Manchester, Moorland, Morton Hall, New Hall, North Sea Camp, Northallerton, Norwich, Nottingham, Onley, Parc, Parkhurst, Pentonville, Portland, Preston, Ranby, Reading, Risley, Rochester, Ryehill, Send, Shepton Mallet, Shrewsbury, Springhill, Stafford, Standford Hill, Stocken, Stoke Heath, Styal, Sudbury, Swaleside, Swansea, Swinfen Hall, The Mount, The Verne, Thorn Cross, Usk/Prescoed, Wakefield, Wandsworth, Warren Hill, Wayland, Wealstun, Weare, Wellingborough, Werrington, Wetherby, Whatton, Whitemoor, Winchester, Wolds, Woodhill, Wormwood Scrubs, Wymott.

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