About The Prison Oracle

By Mark Leech
Editor: The Prison Oracle



What people say about The Prison Oracle

“I’ve spent considerable time this afternoon perusing the extensive content and found it to be an incredibly useful source. What I like best about it, is the idea that the information is there at your fingertips, without the need to trawl through page after page of internet content. The site is user friendly and easy to navigate. I also think it would lend itself well to an app for even more ease of use. The back catalogue of Converse was another nice surprise as skimming through past editions reminds me of fast-paced developments within the prison estate, some of which have completely slipped my mind. Overall, for anyone interested in prisons, this is most certainly a valuable and convenient source.”
Jo Prescott, Lecturer in Criminology & PhD candidate (@Joprescott8)

‘Impressively Comprehensive’
Director General HM Prison Service (Ret)

‘Recommended without any hesitation’
Commissioner: Corrections Western Australia

‘A terrific service!  Imagine if MOJ itself were this helpful and competent!”
Julian Le Vay: Former Finance Director HM Prison Service for England & Wales

‘The Go-To Place for everything prison-related’
MD: Census Life

‘Way better and faster than the HMPPS Intranet’
Custodial Manager: HMPPS

‘I can now download all the things I need in minutes’
Maureen J: Prison Librarian

‘Excellent, every IMB Member should subscribe to this’
Paul J: Independent Monitoring Board Member

‘Worth every single penny’
DB: former Long-Term, Prisoner

‘Needed for years’
MCB: former Long-Term Prisoner

‘OMG Saved me hours of endless searching’
Vicky P: wife of IPP Prisoner

‘The best £2.50 a week I’ve ever spent’
Jeanne McC: mother of a Young Offender

‘Prisons org uk – you’ve done it again – brilliant’
Ashraf P: brother of a sister in prison

‘This is fantastic, I’ve just signed up and it’s so useful – thank you!’
Tammy Banks (Linkedin)

‘I’m blown away with what is available on The Prison Oracle”’
@Areformedman (Twitter)

How with self-belief dreams can become reality


Backstory: I once had a dream – well two really, but I’ll come to the second in a moment.

The first ‘dream’ started life 30 years ago, sitting in the large caged Reception cubicle at Wandsworth prison in south London, I was waiting for my prison escort to arrive to take me to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight – a journey that was destined to end in the House of Lords and change British prison law forever, but that’s another story.

It was in that caged cubicle that I found myself surrounded by a mixture of prisoners who had just arrived at Wandsworth and others, like myself, who were lucky enough to be leaving.

I sat and listened to the questions that went back and forth – between the worried new arrivals and the old-hand Norman Stanley Fletcher replies of those like myself who couldn’t wait to get out of there.

What’s it like here? What are the visits like? Is there any work available, and what are the wages like? What are the cells like? What about the food? Is it true they have a painting and decorating course? What’s the doctor like? Can I see a dentist while I’m here, and is there a waiting list? …..

These of course were exactly the same questions I had asked when I arrived at Wandsworth six months before – and they were exactly the same questions I would be asking again later that day when I arrived at Parkhurst .

During the journey that afternoon to Parkhurst I asked a Prison Officer: “Is there a reference book on Prisons?”

“No” came the terse reply – in a way that made it clear questions were not invited and comments were equally unwelcome.

Secretly though, there and then, I decided I was going to write that book.

“You? Write a book on Prisons Leech!”  The Parkhurst Wing Governor laughed and shook his head in disbelief as I told him of my plan during my Induction Interview a few days later.

Well today, 21 annual editions later, ‘that book’ – The Prisons Handbook – has become the 1,600-page definitive annual reference book on prisons for England and Wales that is sold all over the world.

One dream delivered – and another one was born.

In May 2018, having spent hours trying to locate a copy of The Woolf Report on the internet for some research and having had to give up exasperated at my inability to find it, I had another dream.

One place where everything on prisons was brought together, all under one roof, which was user-friendly, time-saving, comprehensive, totally independent, and where all the information about prisons was easy to find.

On the 1st October 2019 that dream too became reality when The Prison Oracle was born – its been 15 months in the making and since it’s launch just 10 days ago, it has already attracted hundreds of members – and won praise from former prisoners right up to former Director General’s of HM Prison Service too.

The Prison Oracle is about access to comprehensive prisons information, and saving time.

There is tons of information on prisons out there, but it is scattered across a whole range of websites where you have to search like an internet sniffer dog to track down what you want – ‘click next page’, ‘click next page’, ‘click to download’ – only to find at the end of it that the link is broken or the document you thought you’d found wasn’t what you were looking for.

Well those days are over.

Now, on The Prison Oracle, at last its here.

What’s on The Prison Oracle?

In short it’s everything “prison”

It has fully comprehensive, up-to-date- information on all 118 prison establishments in the country (but individual prisons are not even half of it) with access in each prison entry to their individual Inspection reports, IMB Reports, Facilities Lists, Fatal Incident Reports, details of all the key officials and suppliers of services to each prison all cross-referenced by taxonomies – you won’t find this anywhere else.

If you think this is just about information on individual prisons, well take a look at our Membership Plans and see exactly what you get – the Best Value Enhanced Membership costs less than £2.50 a week – less than the price of a coffee.

For that, you get all this….

Instant access to fully comprehensive pages for every one of the 118 Prisons and Young Offender Institutions in England and Wales – updated daily and with access to the full Inspection & Monitoring Reports, Death in Custody, Facility Lists and much more.


Up-to-date explanations of the current policies on:
1 Early Days in Custody
2 Offending Behaviour Programmes
3 Criminal Cases Review Commission
4 Requests and Complaints
5 Letters, Visits, Phone Calls
6 Drugs and Alcohol
7 Prison Disciplinary System
8 Support – Who Can Help?
9 Healthcare rights
10 Religion
11 Equality Age, Gender, Disability & Race
12 Social Security & Discharge Grants
13 Release & Recall Rights
14 Indeterminate Sentences
15 Women Prisoners
16 Young Adults (18-20)
17 Young People (15-17)
18 Foreign Nationals
19 Disability in Prison
20 Employment, Training & Skills
21 Work & Pay
22 Incentives & Earned Privileges
23 Getting Married in Prison
24 Elderly Prisoners
25 Segregation

Articles and opinion on prison issues by experts in their field

Breaking News on prisons as it happens
Latest Rules, Reports & Policies as they are issued

Instant access to 400 Prison Law subjects, in A-Z format from ‘Access to Justice’ to ‘Zoonotic Infections
Instant access to over 1,400 court judgments in legal cases brought both by prisoners and officers.

1,100 Individual Prison Monitoring Reports
800 Prison Inspection Reports
2,300 Death in Custody Investigations
5,000 Parliamentary Questions & Answers on prisons
3,000 Freedom of Information releases on Prisons
Annual Reports from 2005-current for:
Ministry of Justice
HM Prison & Probation Service (NOMS pre-2017)
HM Prisons Inspectorate
HM Probation Inspectorate
The Parole Board
The Prisons & Probation Ombudsman
Independent Monitoring Board (National)
National Preventive Mechanism
Government Facility Services Ltd
Instant access to Statutory Inspectorate Databases
Criminal Justice Joint Inspection Reports Database
HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
HMCPSI Reports Database
HMCPSI Thematic Reviews
Independent Monitoring Boards
IMB Annual Reports Database
Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
Deaths in Custody Full Reports Database
All Deaths listed by Establishment
Deaths in Custody 1990-2019 Table
Deaths in Custody This Month
Deaths in Custody 2019
Deaths in Custody 2018
Deaths in Custody 2017
Deaths in Custody 2016
Deaths in Custody 2015
Deaths in Custody 2014
Prison Service Instructions – 1997-current
Prison Service Orders 21997-current
Ministry of Justice Policy Frameworks 2019
HM.Prisons Inspectorate Reports 2005-current
HM.Probation Inspectorate Reports 2005-current
Statutory Corporate Reports
Annual Prison Staff Equalities Reports 2013-current
Annual Prison Statistics Digests 2013-current
Public Protection Annual Reports 2013-current
Prison Service Specifications 2013-current
Offender Management Statistics 2010-current
Prison Estate Transformation Programme (PETP)
Prison Population 2010-current
Proven Re-offending statistics 2009-present
Research Briefings 2012-current
Safety in Custody Quarterly Bulletins 2013-current
Workforce Quarterly Bulletins 2013-current
Youth Justice Reports 2012-current

Instant access to valuable research publications:
‘The ‘Woolf Report’ into the 1990 Prison Riots
‘English Prisons Today’ (1922 Prison Inquiry)
‘English Prisons Under Local Government’ (1922)
‘The Du Parcq Report’ into the Dartmoor Prison Riot in 1932
‘The Woodcock Report’ into prison security (1995)
‘The Learmont Report’ into prison escapes (1994)
‘The May Report’ into UK prison Services (1979)
‘The Carter Report’ (2003) reducing reoffending
‘The Corston Report’ (2007) women in prison
‘The Karen Page IMB Report’ (2014)
‘The Harris Report’ (2015)
‘The Farmer Report for Men’ (2017)
‘The Farmer report for Women’ (2019)
‘The Farmer Report (30 Oct 2019 Update
20% Off any of our publications
Conference & Events Discounts*
Expert Analysis & Articles
Editor’s Podcasts
Breaking News as it happens
20% Discount on Advertisements placed in any of our products: ….
20% Discount on Advertisements placed in the next edition of The Prisons Handbook
20% Discount on Advertisements placed our Converse National Monthly Prisons Newspaper
20% Discount on Advertisements accepted on our website
And a 20% Discount on our Prison Law Courses

The our comprehensive information on individual prisons is set out like never before – we use taxonomies (image below) for cross referencing which you won’t find anywhere else – take a minute to subscribe to a FREE Membership and have a look at an example.

The fully comprehensive information on every prison establishment in the country gives access to their individual Inspection reports, IMB Reports, Facilities Lists, Fatal Incident Reports, details of all the key officials and suppliers of services to each prison – the cross-referencing ‘taxonomies’ are all shown in blue links on the right hand side of every individual Prisons page.

Like everything on The Prison Oracle it is updated daily – and membership is growing every day.

I could go on and on, and on, there’s so much more, but I won’t take your time, just come on in, take a look – and never let anyone tell you that you cannot realise your dreams because you can – by turning ‘One Day’ into ‘Day One’ .

Mark Leech FRSA
Editor: The Prison Oracle

What people are saying about The Prison Oracle

“An excellent collection of data and information” Phil Wheatley, former Director General HM Prison Service

“It’s been needed for years.. excellent…I have no hesitation in recommending The Prison Oracle to all my Correctional Services colleagues” Tony Hassall, Commissioner, Corrective Services, Western Australia

“My son is ten years over his IPP tariff and The Prison Oracle has given me access for next to nothing a week to information, rules, reports, regulations and prison information I could only dream of – thank you so much” Shirley M – Bournemouth

“In one word – ‘Brilliant’” Peter Dawson – Director Prison Reform Trust

“Honestly? It’s fantastic, I’m so pleased I joined” David Breakspear, former long term prisoner and now published author

“Stunning it’s what we’ve needed for years – worth every single penny” MCB – former long term prisoner and now working in prisons