Guide to Category B Prisons in the UK

Prison Info

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Category B Prisons in the UK. Category B Prisons form an essential part of the UK prison system. These are designed for those prisoners whose escape would pose a considerable risk to the public, but who do not show an intent to do so.

Structure of Category B Prisons

Category B institutions generally have a substantial outer wall surrounding the inner buildings. The perimeter wall is patrolled by guards positioned at regular intervals. The prisoners’ housing units or cell blocks are typically located within this secure boundary. The accommodation varies from prison to prison, ranging from shared cells to single rooms.

All of this is designed to prevent prisoners from escaping and providing the necessary security, while also ensuring prisoner wellbeing within the limits of their incarceration.

List of Category B Prisons

  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Doncaster
  • Altcourse
  • Enfield

Regulation and Policies

Like any other prison category, Category B institutions are subject to regular inspections by the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons to ensure they meet the mandatory guidelines stipulated by the UK law. All inspections focus on key areas like security, respect, resettlement, safety, and purposeful activities for inmates.

Living Conditions

It’s important to remember that, although they are designed to ensure security, Category B Prisons still aim to provide adequate living conditions for the inmates. They ensure prisoners have access to necessary amenities, including healthcare, educational opportunities, and room for personal growth.

Visiting a Category B Prison

If you are looking to visit someone in a Category B prison, it is advisable to know the specific rules of the institution before scheduling a visit. Protocols can vary from prison to prison, and they include rules on visiting hours, what you can bring to the prison, and communication methods.

Rehabilitation in Category B Prisons

Rehabilitation and reducing reoffending is a key part of the services provided by Category B prisons. This is achieved through educational and skill-building programs, support services to manage mental health, substance misuse programmes, and more.


To summarise, Category B Prisons are an integral part of the UK’s criminal justice system, balancing the need for security with the rights and wellbeing of prisoners. They offer a range of facilities and services, governed by strict regulations, and designed to reduce reoffending and facilitate the smooth reintegration of prisoners back into society.

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the UK prison system, offering insights and helpful resources to those needing guidance or simply wishing to be more informed.

Note: This article has been created to inform and not to offer legal advice. It is recommended you seek counsel from a legal professional or institution-approved guide for accurate information.

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