Inside Look: Life and Facilities at Wandsworth Prison

Prison Info

With a complex history that dates back to 1851, Wandsworth Prison is one of the most historically significant penitentiaries in the UK. This page will provide you with an inside look at Wandsworth Prison, its amenities, and what life looks like for the inmates housed there.

This treasure trove of historical intrigue, Wandsworth is located in South West London. With a capacity of approximately 1,628 prisoners, it’s among the largest prisons in the UK. It primarily caters to adult men and has sections housing those on remand and inmates serving their sentences.

The facets of daily life

Here, inmates follow a strict routine, but also have access to various means of skill enhancement and education, apart from the regular work done within the compound. Employment opportunities are available within Wandsworth. This includes jobs within laundry, carpentry workshops, and in roles which facilitate the running of the prison.

It’s important to note that every inmate has the right to engage with these job opportunities, where they are paid a small wage for their work, aiming to instil a strong work ethic.


With a well-equipped education department managed by Novus, inmates have the option to improve their literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills. A large library facility also exists offering a good range of reading materials and works in conjunction with the Shannon Trust’s Reading Plan to support those prisoners with low-level literacy skills.

Resettlement Support

  • Transitions: The Transition service supports inmates to plan their release 12 weeks in advance, focusing on housing, employment, financial stability, and family connections.
  • St. Mungo’s: This organisation provides help for those inmates who face homelessness upon release.
  • Jobcentre Plus (JCP): JCP will see prisoners upon release and provide them with immediate financial support, housing benefit, and job-seeking advice.

Offender Management and Interventions

This includes two sectors:

  1. Offender Management: Undertakes the sentence planning and management of offenders.
  2. Interventions: They provide a range of courses to address offending behaviour.

Healthcare Services

Healthcare provisions at Wandsworth include general practitioners, mental health staff, nurses, dentists, and opticians. Additionally, a number of specialist healthcare services are also provided in the prison, which can include services such as physiotherapy, podiatry, and sexual health clinics, among others.

Sports and Leisure
The prison has a well-equipped gym and sports hall where they offer a range of physical education courses and recreational gym. Fitness and an active lifestyle are highly encouraged.


Wandsworth offers a multi-faith Chaplaincy Team to provide spiritual and religious support to all inmates. The diverse chaplaincy team caters to a variety of faiths, providing spiritual sustenance for prisoners.

In sum, Life and Facilities at Wandsworth Prison show that while the conditions are stringent, an effort is being made to give prisoners the opportunity to improve their skill sets, overall health and personal growth, and prepare for life after release.

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