Inside Look: Life and Conditions at Brixton Prison

Prison Info

Welcome to a rare inside look at Brixton Prison. Based in south London, this adult male prison has been functional since 1819. From its architecture to daily life, this page will give you an insight into the realities of Brixton.

Historical Background:

Brixton Prison, with its distinctive red brick walls, was originally built as the Surrey House of Correction in 1819. It’s amongst the oldest prisons in London, and throughout its long history, it has served different functions, from a correctional facility for young offenders to a military prison. Today it holds adult males, primarily from Derby Crown Court.

Physical Layout:

On entry, you’ll note the prison is divided into six wings – A, B, C, D, E, and F. Each wing houses prisoners according to their requirements. The E wing, for example, was announced as the UK’s first ‘prison-based social enterprise’ in 2011 and facilitates training and employment opportunities.

Daily Life:

Keeping in line with human rights standards, prisoners at Brixton enjoy privileges like access to meals, healthcare, educational opportunities, and visits from loved ones. Regulations vary from one individual to another, so it’s always essential to confirm with prison authorities.

  • Meals: Prisoners are entitled to three meals a day, including a hot meal.
  • Healthcare: A healthcare centre is on-site, offering both physical and mental health services.
  • Education and Work: Regular work and learning opportunities are made available via prison workshops or the onsite library.
  • Visits: Family visits are critically important for prisoner wellbeing, so the prison encourages families to visit routinely.


Aside from basic needs, Brixton Prison also has various additional facilities. A gym, a chapel, and a garden for prisoners who wish to engage in gardening are among these. There’s also an Advice and Guidance Team, which provides support with benefits, housing, and employment for prisoners who are preparing to re-enter society.

Reformation Programs:

The core goal of Brixton Prison is more than punishment; it’s about reformation. Several programs are thus put in place to prepare prisoners for a life outside prison walls. These range from drug rehabilitation programs to vocational learning such as barista courses and stone masonry.

In Conclusion:

Brixton Prison isn’t simply a place where convicts serve time. In keeping with the broader ethos of UK penal policy, it aims to be a space where inmates can engage in constructive activities, develop new skills, and prepare for a better life post-prison. Remember, each prisoner’s experience varies, and the privileges and restrictions applicable to each individual may differ.

Now that you’ve gotten a sneak peek, we hope it helps you understand a little more about life in Brixton Prison.

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