Inside Look: Living Conditions and Facilities at Gartree Prison

Prison Info

Welcome to our inside look at the living conditions and facilities at Gartree Prison in the UK. In this segment, we provide you detailed, up-to-the-minute information about what life is truly like within these walls.

Gartree Prison is a Category B Men’s prison located in the beautiful countryside of Leicestershire, constructed in 1965. Today, it has evolved into a leading establishment focused on long-term inmates serving life sentences.

Living Conditions

Living conditions at Gartree Prison are designed to handle the needs of long-term inmates, with the provision of single and double cells. Each cell is equipped with basic amenities such as a bed, sink, and toilet facilities, along with a small area for personal items.

Cell Occupancy

Each resident of Gartree is assigned to either a single or double cell. Single occupancy cells are standard for long-serving inmates, offering a degree of privacy, while double cells are typically for new arrivals.

Catering and Meal Services

  • Prisoners receive three meals a day, catered by a central kitchen run by prison staff and inmates on catering duty.
  • The menu caters to a range of diets; religious, ethnic, and dietary needs are all considered.
  • Feedback on meals is actively encouraged by prison management to ensure continuous improvement in food quality and variety.


For personal growth and rehabilitation, Gartree Prison offers a variety of facilities allowing inmates to learn, work, and relax in a structured manner.

Educational Facilities

In conjunction with local colleges, Gartree delivers a wide range of accredited courses, from basic numeracy and literacy classes to qualifications in a host of trade skills and professions.


  • Gartree maintains several workshops that provide vocational training in areas like carpentry, painting, and gardening.
  • These workshops not only provide a constructive way for prisoners to pass time but also help them attain skills that might be valuable upon release.

Gyms and Physical Recreation

Gartree Prison emphasises physical health and well-being, providing inmates with access to two fully equipped gyms, and arranging regular sports and fitness activities.

Lifestyle Services

Beyond these, Gartree also offers substance misuse services, mental health support, and various clubs and groups covering interests from art to literature.


Visitation at Gartree is available by prior appointment. The prison allows inmates to maintain healthy family ties, acknowledging these can be key to rehabilitation.


While life at Gartree Prison can be challenging owing to its population of long-term inmates, the prison is committed to maintaining an environment that respects the dignity of each resident and offers them the opportunity to better themselves. The facilities and programs at Gartree aim to empower individuals to reintegrate into society upon release.

Gartree Prison stands as leading example in the UK’s network of penal institutions, pointing the way toward a more humane, constructive approach to serving prison time.


Information herein is compiled from various sources, including official government publications and first-hand accounts from past inmates and institutional staff. All data is current as of the last update.

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