Guide to London Prisons

Prison Info

Welcome to our comprehesive guide to London prisons. In the United Kingdom, London is home to an astonishing number of prisons where individuals serve their sentences under UK law. This guide is here to provide you all the necessary information about these establishments.

HMP Belmarsh

High-security prison HMP Belmarsh in Thamesmead, South East London, has been operational since 1991. It’s renowned for housing inmates pending trial who are considered high-risk or threatening to national security.
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HMP Brixton

In South London, HMP Brixton was originally opened in 1820 as a facility for the confinement of female prisoners. However, since 1862 it has functioned as a men’s prison.

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  • HMP Bronzefield
  • Opened in 2004, HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, is the only purpose-built private prison solely for women in the UK.

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HMP Feltham

In West London, HMP Feltham provides detention for young males, primarily between the ages of 15 and 18. This complex includes two sites: Feltham A for juvenile offenders and Feltham B for young adults.
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HMP Holloway

Although HMP Holloway was officially closed in 2016, this historic site that originally opened in 1852 was once the largest women’s prison in Europe.
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HMP Isis

Sharing a site with HMP Belmarsh, HMP Isis is a category C training prison that opened in 2010 for men aged 18–30.
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HMP Pentonville

Opened in 1842, HMP Pentonville, North London, is a category B/C men’s prison. It operated as a hub for processing newly sentenced male prisoners from the London courts for many years.
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HMP Wandsworth

In operation since 1851, HMP Wandsworth in South West London continues to function as a category B men’s prison and is one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
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Each prison operates within the strict guidelines set by UK law, with various levels of security and specialisms depending on the nature of the inmates held. This guide provides reliable and up-to-date information on these London prisons, aiding in understanding the UK penal system’s complexity.

Whether you’re seeking specific information about a certain prison or gaining a better understanding of UK law enforcement, we hope you find this guide of use.

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