Established over 24 years

All The Definitive Prisons Information You Need From The Publisher Experts Trust

‘A hugely important source of accurate information about prisons’
Rt.Hon David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Justice (2019)

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The Prison Oracle:
An excellent collection of Data and Information, I’m impressed at how comprehensive it is. A bonus is access to Reports like Woolf, Woodcock, May, Learmont and other reports that were published before the Internet and are difficult to otherwise access.
The  data is user-friendly, useful for research and reference and easy to use – and access to data on the Prison Population, Safety in Custody, Workforce Statistics and Annual Digests, are easier to access and use than on the Government’s own website.
A very helpful, comprehensive and user friendly source of information on prison issues.


Phil Wheatley, CB.

Former Director General: HM. Prison Service and NOMS

The Prisons Handbook 2019/2020

21st edition of the Definitive Annual Guide to the Prison System of England & Wales

The Prison Oracle:
A website like The Prison Oracle, with everything about prisons all in one place, has long been needed and I am delighted it has finally arrived – I have subscribed to it and it’s such an excellent collection of information, data and reports, useful for practitioners, justice professionals or anyone with an interest in justice issues or reform, that I have no hesitation in recommending The Prison Oracle to all my Correctional Services colleagues.
An additional advantage is the simple access to reports that have played their role in shaping the modern Prison Service – such as Woodcock, Woolf, Learmont and May.


Tony Hassall

Commissioner: Corrective Services Western Australia

Our Critically Acclaimed Publications

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For Prisons, Prisoners & Charities

Empowering people with a personal, professional or academic interest in prisons is at the heart of what we do – with publications 100% edited and published by those with a lived experience of prisons.

Our Managing Director

Mark Leech FRSA

Britain’s Leading Ex-Offender Expert on Prisons.

“The sanest, best-informed, commentator on prison issues”
Phil Wheatley, Chief Executive HM Prison Service

Mark Leech was taken into ‘Care’ at the age of 8 and like many Care-leavers later became involved in crime serving 14 years in a prison career characterised by roof-top protests and over 40 successful legal battles that changed British prison law. Mark was released from prison in March 1995 and has risen to become the country’s foremost ex-offender expert on the policy and practice of the penal system.

He is the Managing Editor of The Prisons Handbook, the definitive 1,600 page annual reference book on the penal system of England and Wales, he is the founder and former Chief Executive of the award-winning national charity for people with convictions UNLOCK, and the Editor of Converse; the largest circulation national monthly prisons newspaper – edited and published 100% by reformed offenders.

Mark is the Director of The Institute of Prison Law, whose acclaimed Certificate of Competency in Prison Law has been studied by thousands of lawyers, prison staff and prisoners too. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the National Union of Journalists and today he lives with his partner and two children among the beautiful mountains of Northern Thailand. Outside of work his interests are in aviation – Mark is a qualified helicopter pilot.


Everything In One Place

The One Stop Shop For Everything ‘Prison’

Its all here, in one place, authoritative and from the publisher that experts trust.

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Expert publications on Prisons from the publisher experts trust – we are a Ministry of Justice approved book retailer which means you can order with confidence

Breaking News

As an accredited news outlet we receive embargoed advance notice of new items before they are made public, which means you get them as soon as the embargo has passed – we also monitor all the breaking news on prisons too!

Expert Analysis

With 25 years experience we are experts on the practice and policies of prisons – our expert analysis will help you understand what new policies mean and how they fit in with current strategies.

Definitive Database

Our database holds thousands of records from prison inspectorate reports, to freedom of information act requests and fatal incident reports from the prisons ombudsman.

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As accredited journalists, with access to all the major prisons and justice news outlets, you get the breaking news you need as it happens

Opening up the Closed World of Prisons

Trusted by thousands with a personal and professional interest in prisons for almost 25 years!

The Prisons Handbook
“Much more than a book about prisons, this is a tour-de-force through current penal policy
and practice.”

Prison Service Journal

The Cell Companion
Outstanding, tackles the deadly dangers of prison debts, drugs, gangs – a book by experts that’s been needed for years.”
Nick Leader, Governor,
HMP Northumberland.

Converse Newspaper
“The best national monthly prisons newspaper by a mile, the only one edited and published by reformed offenders –
their experience shines through.”

Paul Ferris, ex-offender
(“The Wee Man” Movie)


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