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Rt.Hon David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Justice (2019)

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The Prison Oracle:
I’m impressed at how comprehensive it is.
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 others before the Internet and difficult to otherwise access. The data is user-friendly, useful for research and easy to use with access to data on the Prison Population, Safety in Custody, and Workforce Statistics easier to access and use than on the Government’s own website. A very helpful, comprehensive, user friendly source of information on prison issues.

Phil Wheatley, CB.

Former Director General: HM. Prison Service and NOMS

The Prison Oracle:
‘The’ Go-To Place for Everything Prison Related.
The sheer depth of available information, coupled with a simple user interface, makes The Prison Oracle ‘the’ go-to place for everything that is in any way prison related. There’s a vast array of publications, alongside historic reports that you simply can’t find anywhere else online.
Having such a wealth of data at your fingertips, without the need to trawl the internet for hours, is exactly why I subscribed. The Prison Oracle is a tangible learning resource for anyone with an interest in the justice section; I urge you to take a look for yourself.

Richard Rowley

Managing Director: Census Life

The Prison Oracle:
An excellent collection of information, data and reports
The Prison Oracle, with everything about prisons all in one place, has long been needed and I’m delighted it’s finally arrived – I ‘ve subscribed and it’s such an excellent collection of information, data and reports for practitioners, justice professionals or anyone with an interest in justice issues or reform, I’ve no hesitation in recommending The Prison Oracle to all my Correctional Services colleagues. An added advantage is the simple access to reports that shaped the modern Prison Service – Woodcock, Woolf, Learmont, May, Carter, and Corston.

Tony Hassall

Commissioner: Corrective Services Western Australia

(28th October 2019) “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)

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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

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Maureen J: Prison Librarian

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Paul J: Independent Monitoring Board Member

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

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MCB: former Long-Term Prisoner

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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)

Real Reviews by Real People

At 1,600 pages The Prisons Handbook 2019 is our largest and most comprehensive edition ever and, for the first time, it’s now fully updateable online too!

Dedicated to Michael Spurr who, after more than 35 years in HM Prison Service retired as its Chief Executive in April 2019: “A courageous, inspiring leader who chiselled the decency agenda into Prison Service bedrock.” 

With a foreword by Bob Neill MP, criminal barrister, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and since 2015 the skillfully and persistently inquisitive Chairman of the hugely respected Parliamentary Justice Select Committee. 

“An incredible reference book on Prisons; I keep a copy in my top drawer and I refer to it frequently” Director General, HM Prison Service.

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Our Critically Acclaimed Publications

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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.
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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.

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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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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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