Prison Accommodation

Prisons are split in various wings which can be separate buildings connected by secure walkways, and each wing may be further split into separate spurs and landings. For some reason the ground floor is termed the “one’s”, the first floor the “two’s” and the second floor the “three’s”. Each wing will have a central office where the prison staff are based and there will be smaller offices located on each spur which will be manned 24/7. Movement by prisoners between spurs on a wing is restricted, and the prison will segregate as far as is possible vulnerable prisoners from the main prison population. Similarly it will try to keep those prisoners who are keeping away from drugs from those who are still addicted. It will not, however, segregate prisoners by reference to their crime (sex offenders excepted) so on your wing you will find a wide variety of people with different criminal pasts.

Cells, even in the new private prisons and small and basic. In a double cell there will be either bunk beds or a bed down each wall ( called a flat double cell), and a small wardrobe for each inmate. Space is at a premium. There will be a sink and a toilet which is behind a small partition or curtain.  There will not be any curtains at the window. A kettle will be provided and there is usually access to a power point. Single cell follow the same pattern.

Each wing/block will have a shower room which can be used during the unlock periods of association. These are open showers with no privacy.

Open (Cat D) prison have a more open style of accommodation and a number of these are in dormitory style rooms with between 3 and 15 sharing the same room. Privacy in these prison is limited.

In addition in every prison there will be a number of different parts of the prison to house the chapel and multi faith room, the library, visits area, education classrooms, administration, medical area, the gym, exercise yards, workshops and the punishment cells (called the Block). As a prisoner you will be walked between these various sites either under specific escort or at time designated “movements” by the prison under your own steam. Movements periods tend to be when work is about to start or has ended.

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