Inside Look: Life and Conditions at Frankland Prison

Prison Info


Welcome to our ‘Inside Look’ series, specifically focussed on Frankland Prison. Located in County Durham, this is one of the UK’s most high-security prisons, home to some of the country’s most infamous inmates.

A Brief History

Frankland Prison opened its doors in 1982 and is one of eight high-security prisons in England.

The Inmate Population

Frankland Prison houses about 800 inmates currently. Some notable previous inmates include Harold Shipman, Charles Bronson, and more recently, Lee Rigby’s killers.


  • Education and Work: Inmates at Frankland Prison are required to work or attend educational classes to prepare them for life after prison.
  • Healthcare: The prison has a healthcare centre equipped with doctors, nurses and mental health professionals on site.
  • Visits: Inmates are allowed to receive visitors, although the frequency and duration of visits may vary based on individual circumstances and behaviour.

Daily Life

An inmate’s day at Frankland Prison starts early, with breakfast served from 07:30. Lunch follows after education/work sessions, and dinner in the evening.


As with all UK prisons, the goal of Frankland is not just punishment, but also rehabilitation. The prison hosts various programs to help inmates reintegrate into society after release.


Given the potential risk posed by the inmates at Frankland, the level of security in the prison is exceptionally high. It is equipped with the latest surveillance technology.


Frankland Prison has seen its share of controversies over the years. These have mainly revolved around attacks on prison staff and other inmates, as well as suicides and overcrowding.


Living conditions inside Frankland Prison, like any maximum-security facility, are tough but the aim is rehabilitation. Safety for both inmates and staff is a priority, despite numerous challenges. Remember, the aim of the prison system is not merely retribution, but also the reformation and rehabilitation of individuals.

We hope this inside look at Frankland Prison gives you a better understanding of what life behind these high walls is like. For more information, stay tuned to our ‘Inside Look’ series that provides insights into UK prisons.

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