THE PRISONS HANDBOOK 2019/2020 – Contents



Section One is well over 800 pages and consists of an A-Z of prisons in England and Wales, using all the latest truly independent inspection reports published by the Prisons Inspectorate, Independent Monitoring Boards and responses from each prison as the basis for each entry.
Section One also contains, Prison Performance Ratings 2018/2019, details of current Governing Governors, current Costs per Prisoner Place, details of Private Prison providers and information on all other prisons in the UK.
New from 2019/2020 – via membership and subscriptions starting at just £4.99 a month that you can cancel anytime – The Prisons Handbook contents are completely updated online as new HMPPS information becomes available – reports, thematic reviews, policies, consultations, appointments, awards, Parliamentary Questions, Freedom of Information responses, and breaking news too!
Membership levels bring exclusive additional benefits of discounts on conferences, events, our publications, and advertising opportunities.

Section Two of the Handbook contains 25 comprehensive advice chapters, right up to date with the latest Policy Frameworks, Section two authoritatively spans reception through to release; covering:
Early Days in Custody; Offending Behaviour Programmes; Criminal Cases Review Commission; Requests and Complaints; Prisoner Communications; Drugs and Alcohol in Prison Institutions; The Prison Disciplinary System; Who Can Help?; Healthcare; Religion; Equality: Age, Gender, Disability & Race; Social Security and Discharge Grants; Release and Recall; Indeterminate Sentences; Women Prisoners; Young Offenders (18-21 year olds); Young People (15-17 year olds); Foreign Nationals; Disability in Prison; Employment, Training & Skills; Work and Pay; Incentives and Earned Privileges; Civil Partnerships & Equal Marriage; Elderly Prisoners; Segregation.

Section Three contains details of Government & Statutory Agencies, such as the Ministry of Justice and HM Prison & Probation Service, and many more.
This section also lists almost 500 registered charities by name, website and email address which relate to prisons and offenders.

Section Five is completely revised and updated to May 2019 by the Barristers of the Crime & Prison Law Team at 1 Pump Court Chambers in London. The A-Z tour of prison law gives an authoritative account of the legal rights of prisoners and legislation applicable to prisoners. From Access to Justice, through to Zoonotic Infections, the Team at 1 Pump Court have done a magnificent job and has produced a definitive guide to prison law that brings together all the relevant rules and regulations in an easy to understand way that will be essential reading for prisoners and their lawyers alike. Also completely new for this edition is an authoritative section on the subject of criminal appeals.

Section Five: FORUM – Something to Say?

Deaths in Custody are a vexed issue. In ‘Discharged: DeadMark Leech records his personal experience of one death in custody and he examines the failures of both the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman to implement their recommendations designed to reduce deaths in custody, and those of Independent Monitoring Boards who fail to record the implementation failures in their Annual Reports. He argues that all deaths of those in the custody of the State should be the subject of a public announcement; something that currently does not happen – as he says: ‘This is the United Kingdom, not North Korea.’

In his fascinating article ‘Watching The Prison Watchdogs’ former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Parole Board Chair, Professor Nick Hardwick, examines whether the so-called ‘Prison Watchdogs’, could do more to prevent or resolve the current prison crisis by looking at the complex web of prison oversight that has developed in the UK over many years.

In ‘The Government’s Plans For Competition In Prisons’ Julian Le Vay, former Finance Director of HM Prison Service and Director of Competition for the National Offender Management Service, examines how realistic the delivery of recent political promises may be when they confront the reality of managing the prison system in his excellent contribution “The Government’s Plans for Competition in Prisons.” Getting access to information in prisons can be exceptionally difficult for prisoners, in a world where knowledge is power.

In ‘Using Your Right To Know: How To Make Freedom of Information Requests’ Paul Gibbons, former Records Manager for the Houses of Parliament and arguably the UK’s finest expert on the Freedom of Information Act, explains how to do it.

The first chapter in Section 6 details the Prisons Inspectorate – whose inspection reports have again been used as the truly independent basis for each establishment entry in section one. Also here are the annual reports of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, Prisons Inspectorate, and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman are summarised, and the first National Annual IMB Report, published in June 2019 is also summarised.

Section 7 gives details of selected Parliamentary Questions and, for the first time, Freedom of Information Act requests and responses from the Ministry of Justice and HMPPS on prisons in the last 12 months. This section also contains details of Deaths in Prison Service Custody 1990-2019, details of the new Policy Frameworks that are replacing Prison Service Orders and Instructions, Butler Trust Awards and fir the first time we set out the vital Basic Custody Screening Tool used by HMPPS to assess everyone who arrives in custody.

Section Eight: This innovative section has been completely updated, providing the latest information on staffing, the role of officers and governors and it also sets out for the first time the Core Curriculum of the Prison Officer Entry Level Training Course – POELT.

Section Nine contains a selected reading list of publications about prisons and imprisonment, specialising in prison law, and about accommodation available on release. GENERAL FEEDBACK The Prisons Handbook offers a comprehensive sweep of a complex system, providing detailed information not elsewhere drawn together.

Every day in prisons up and down the country prisoners in prison receptions will be asking questions. What’s it like here? What are the visits like? What Gangs are there on the Wings? 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 drug detox wing here? What is the doctor like? Can I see a dentist while I’m here, and is there a waiting list? When can we use the phones, and are there Family Visits? Does the prison shop use a bagging system, when do we get canteen? Are the IMB any good? Who are the IMB? Is there a church service for Muslims? When is it? Is there a gymnasium? When can we use it? Who is the Governor? What about disciplinary adjudications; are they fair? How long will I be locked up on weekdays? What about weekends? When is exercise time and how long do we get? Can we wear our own clothes in here? Do they allow play stations: what about DVDs . . . ?

Thirty years ago when the Editor of this work was himself sitting in the prison reception at Wandsworth prison he listened as similar questions flowed back and forth, suddenly realising that these were the same questions he had asked on his arrival – and would shortly be doing so again, in the prison to which he was then bound. In prison receptions across the country these questions were the only way the prisoner could discover what was in store for him (or, increasingly, for her) at a new establishment; and relatives and friends were in an even worse position. Unless they know someone who has been inside a particular prison, it is unlikely they would know anything about the place to which their loved one has been sent. Prison staff who move around the country frequently are also able to make use of the information, as are lawyers, courts, police liaison officers, Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, advice workers, probation officers, penal reform groups, students, social workers and many other people whose work brings them into contact with the penal system. Providing information for our 83,000+ prisoners in England and Wales-and the half a million others who make up their families, friends, advisers and campaigners-is what The Prisons Handbook is all about.

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WHAT’S IN THE 2019/2020 EDITION (Pre-Order your copy now)

Map of Prison Service Establishments 2019 and Who’s Who? in HMPPS Senior Management
Mark Leech Biography
Prisoner Location Service
Ministry of Justice Headquarters
Dedication: Michael SpurrDedication written by Phil Copple, Director General (Prisons) HM Prison & Probation Service
Foreword, Rt.Hon Bob Neill MP, Chairman: Parliamentary Justice Select Committee 
Editorial: Mark Leech
Can’t you take a joke?’ – one former Governor and Area Manager’s experience of the homophobia he suffered in the Prison Service
‘Homophobic Banter’ – the sexperience and response of one former Senior Officer to homophobia in the Prison Service
HM Prison Service Directory of Specifications & Performance Standards
Glossary of Terms
Prison Population 2019
1.1 Prison Service Establishments in England and Wales 2019/2020
1.1.2 National Prison Management
1.1.3 Prison Performance Ratings 2018/2019
1.1.4 Governing Governors (June 2019)
1.2 Cost Per Prisoner Place
1.3 Private Sector Prison Contractors
1.4 Other United Kingdom Prison Addresses
2.1 Early Days in Custody
2.2 Offending Behaviour Programmes
2.3 Criminal Cases Review Commission
2.4 Requests and Complaints
2.4.1 Requests and Complaints
2.4.2 Prisons & Probation Ombudsman
2.5 Letters, Visits and Telephone Calls
2.6 Drugs and Alcohol in Prisons
2.7 The Prison Disciplinary System
2.8 Who Can Help?
2.9 Healthcare
2.10 Religion
2.11 Race & Equality
2.12 Social Security and Discharge Grants
2.13 Release & Recall
2.14 Life Sentences
2.15 Women Prisoners
2.16 Young Adult Offenders
2.17 Young People
2.18 Foreign National Prisoners
2.19 Disability in Prison
2.20 Education and Training
2.21 Work and Pay
2.22 Incentives and Earned Privileges
2.23 Marriage in Prison
2.24 Elderly Prisoners
2.25 Segregation
3.1 Government & Statutory Agencies
3.2 500 registered charities dealing with offenders and prisoners.
4.1 Prisoners & The Law. Over 100 pages on a full A-Z on prisoners and the law, ranging from Access to Justice through to Zoonotic Infections, by the Barristers of the Crime and Prison Law Team at 1 Pump Court Chambers, London.

Mark Leech: Inside Out – The Brutal Culture of Institutional Homophobia in HM Prison & Probation Service – and the lies and lengths the Prison Service went to, in order to cover it up

Professor Nick Hardwick: Watching The Prison Watchdogs

Julian Le Vay: The Government’s Plans For Competition In Prisons

Paul Gibbons: Using Your Right To Know: How To Make Freedom of Information Requests


6.1 Introduction to the Prisons
6.2 Annual Reports
6.2.1 HMPPS Annual Report 2018-2019
6.2.2 Prison & Probation Ombudsman’s Annual Report 2017-2018
6.2.3 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Annual Report 2018-2019
6.2.4 Independent Monitoring Boards
7.1 Parliamentary Questions & Freedom of Information Act Requests and Responses on Prisons 2018-2019
7.2 Deaths in Prison Service Custody 2018-2019
7.3 Butler Trust Awards & Prizes
7.4 Policy Frameworks
  1. Enhanced behaviour monitoring policy framework
  2. Release on temporary licence
  3. Counter corruption and reporting wrongdoing
  4. Multi Agency Life Risk Assessment Panel
  5. Progression regimes
  6. Prison education and library services for adult prisons in England
  7. Recall, review and re-release of recalled prisoners
  8. Home detention curfew
  9. Sustainable operations
  10. Intelligence collection, management and dissemination in prisons and probation
  11. Building Bridges: A Positive Behaviour Framework for the Children and Young People Secure Estate
  12. Strengthening Prisoners Family Ties Policy Framework
  13. Smoke Free Policy Framework
  14. Women’s Policy Framework
  15. Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS)
  16. Access to Digital Evidence (A2DE)
  17. Manage the custodial sentence
7.5 Basic Custody Screening Tool
HMPPS Workforce Statistics Bulletin
Prison Staff: Numbers, Joiners & Leavers, Staff Equality & Diversity, Age, Ethnicity.
House of Commons Justice Committee Report on Prisons
Contracting out non-core services
Roles and responsibilities of prison governors and prison officer
The changing role of prison governors
The changing role of prison staff
The full POELT Curriculum
The contribution of prisoners
Conclusions and recommendations: Modernising the prison estate
Prison Officers
Prison Governors,
Prison Staffing, Statistics & Pay Rates 2019/2020
Preventing Staff Corruption
Section 9 contains a selected reading list of publications about prisons and imprisonment you can dip into and out of.
  • PRE-ORDER The Prisons Handbook 2019 NOW and save 20% on published prices ordered before 31st July!