About The Prison Oracle

By Mark Leech  
Editor of The Prison Oracle 


The Definitive UK Prison Information Site Experts Trust

Join Today


In May 2018, having spent hours online visiting endless websites like an internet sniffer dog trying to locate a copy of a report for some research, and having had to give up exasperated at my inability to find it – I said ‘that’s it – enough is enough’.

There and then I had a vision:

One place, where everything on prisons was brought together, all under one roof, updated daily, user-friendly, time-saving, comprehensive, totally independent, and where full weekly access cost no more than a cup of coffee.

On the 1st October 2019 that vision became reality when The Prison Oracle was born – it’s been 15 months in the making, provides access to over 40,000 pages of information on prisons and since it’s launch it has won praise and glowing recommendations from former prisoners right up to former Director General’s of HM Prison Service too.

There are likely to be numerous bookshops in the town or city where you live – but you are far more likely to find what you are looking for in a central library – that, in a nutshell, is what The Prison Oracle is all about.

Instead of scouring endless websites The Prison Oracle gives you access to comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date information on prisons – where you can quickly locate what you want, in one place, and then get on with life.

What’s on The Prison Oracle?

In short it’s everything “prison”

Enhanced membership to The Prison Oracle costs less than a single cup of coffee a week and for that small amount you get all this:

  • PRISONS – Full details on all 118 prisons in England and Wales
    Updated daily, this includes full access to the prison’s latest monitoring and inspection reports, full contact details, key officials and service providers, the prison’s Facilities List (what prisoners are allowed to have in possession in that prison and how they must obtain it) details of visiting, how to book and how to get there, details of safer custody hotlines so you can share a concern about a particular prisoner, and details of deaths in custody and access to the fatal incident reports listed by name of the deceased that is not available anywhere else.


  • Hundreds of pages of detailed, accurate, up-to-date information on the following subjects – all based on current, extant, Prison Service Instructions, Prison Service Orders and the latest Ministry of Justice Policy Frameworks 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


  • This Section is about prison staff, how to join, prepare for interview, go through training, details of the Prison Officer Entry level Training (POELT) Course, and for those who wish to advance we set out details of the Senior Leaders Scheme and what is required for a Band 3 Prison Officer to rise through each of the ranks to become a Band 11 Governing Governor.


  • Details of independent ‘Watchdog’ organisations that have a duty to Inspect and Monitor prisons and probation, Resolve prisoner issues, or inspect and report on other aspects of the criminal justice system
  • Criminal Justice Joint Inspections – over 200 Joint Inspection Reports, from 2000 to 2020
  • HM CPS Inspectorate – 350 Inspection reports divided into: Area Assurance, Area, Annual and Audit, and Ad Hoc Reports
  • IMB – over 1,250 Independent Monitoring Board Annual Reports on every prison and YOI in the country, from 2009 to 2020
  • NPM – Key Documents and details of all 21 statutory organisations that make up the National Preventive Mechanism
  • PPO – over 2,200 death in custody reports, listed by establishment and name of the deceased from 2007 to 2020 – you won’t find this anywhere else
  • HM Prisons Inspectorate – over 800 prison and YOI inspection reports- and their Thematic reviews too, from 2005 to 2020
  • HM Probation Inspectorate – over 1,500 Probation Inspectorate reports – and their Thematic Reviews too


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


  • The law relating to prisoners is highly complex, their rights depend to a large part on their status as remand or convicted prisoners, as adults or young offenders, whether they are male or female – or transgendered – and that is without considering their sentence length or security categorisation. This section examines prisoners and the law – this section gives you –
  • 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.


  • Containing almost 1,000 Published Reports and Evidential Correspondence from the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee, from Parliamentary Sessions 2019-2020 for every year right back to 2002-2003


  • Containing Press Releases issued by
  • G4S – the private prison company going back to 2009
  • HM Prison & Probation Service going back to 2014
  • Ministry of Justice – over 1,500 press releases, going back to 2009, a decade of News items, Appointments, Speeches and Publications – each split into their own section
  • Parole Board – this now has all Parole Board press releases going back to 2013
  • Prisons & Probation Ombudsman – containing almost 100 ‘Learning Lessons Bulletins’ and Media releases, and our PPO Deaths in Custody Database carries over 2,300 of the PPO’s Fatal Incident Reports, set out by year, and by individual establishment, and by the name of the deceased – something you do not get anywhere else.
  • Probation Inspectorate – over 640 press releases, from 2013 to the present day
  • Serco – press release by the private prison company Serco
  • Sodexo – press release by the private prison company Sodexo


  • 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 1990-2020 Table
      • Deaths in Custody This Month
      • Deaths in Custody 2020
      • 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 2020
  • 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
  • Research Briefings 2012-current
  • Safety in Custody Quarterly Bulletins 2013-current
  • Workforce Quarterly Bulletins 2013-current
  • Youth Justice Reports 2012-current


  • Instant access to over 300 Prison Service Instructions, Orders, and Policy Frameworks that are currently in force – other sites that show these are rarely kept right up to date, showing rules and regulations that are no longer in force – whereas ours is updated daily


  • Instant access to valuable research publications:
      • The State of The Prisons: John Howard (1777)
      • Prison Commissioners: First 20 years, 4,500 pages of the origins of the modern prison system
      • Prison Commissioners Database
      • English Prisons Today 1922
      • English Prisons Under Local Government 1922
      • The Du Parcq Report 1932
      • The Mountbatten Report 1966
      • The May Report 1979
      • The Woolf Report 1991
      • The Wymott Prison Riot 1993
      • The Woodcock Report 1995
      • The Learmont Report 1994
      • The Carter Report 2003
      • The Corston Report 2007
      • The IMB Karen Page Report 2014
      • The Harris Review Report 2015
      • The Farmer Report For Men – Family Ties 2017
      • The Farmer Report for Women – Family Ties 2019
      • Farmer Report Update October 2019
  • List of current Governors for all prisons and YOIs


  • Expert explanation by Michael Jefferies, solicitor and Chairman of the Prison Injury Lawyers Association on the rights and routes to claim compensation for personal injury sustained in prison where the injury was caused by no fault of the person injured.


  • 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


What people say about The Prison Oracle

‘An Excellent Site”
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive HMPPS 2010-2019

‘Impressively Comprehensive’
Phil Wheatley, Director General HM Prison Service

‘Recommended without any hesitation’
Tony Hassall 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’
Richard Rowley MD: Census Life

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

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

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

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

‘Needed for years’
Michael Brown: former Long-Term Prisoner

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

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

‘Prisons org uk – you’ve done it again – brilliant’
Ashraf Patel: 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)

“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)

Join Today