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HM Prison Swinfen Hall

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HMP Swinfen Hall
LocationSwinfen, Staffordshire
Security classAdult Males/Young Offenders
Population624 (as of May 2009)
Managed byHM Prison Services
GovernorIan West
WebsiteSwinfen Hall at

HM Prison Swinfen Hall is a Category C men's prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in the village of Swinfen (near Lichfield) in Staffordshire, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


The prison is named after Swinfen Hall, which stands opposite the prison. HMP Swinfen Hall opened in February 1963 as a Borstal. In 1972 it became a long-term young offenders' institution.

In April 2001, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons highly praised Swinfen Hall, naming the institution as a centre of excellence. The report stated that Swinfen Hall was a place "in which the needs as well as the characteristics of young, adolescent prisoners, are understood and catered for". The prisons anti-bullying schemes and programmes which examine offending behaviour were also praised.[1]

A major building project began at Swinfen Hall in spring 2004, following significant increases in the prison population. The new construction was to develop existing accommodation and facilities for prisoners.

In January 2006, Swinfen Hall was one of only five institutions to get the top ranking in the list compiled by the Prison Service, achieving the level four category which is reserved for prisons which are exceptionally high performing and which consistently meet or exceed targets.[2]

The prison today

Swinfen Hall receives young offenders (aged 18-25) serving 4 years to life. The prison also holds Category C prisoners serving over 4 years. Prisoners are housed in 9 wings, in single cell accommodation.

Swinfen Hall is piloting a scheme in preparation for the proposed abolition of detention in a young offender institution for those under 21. The work at Swinfen Hall is at the heart of the government's overall delivery plan for reducing reoffending. At Swinfen Hall individual needs are identified early, and through an active and integrated regime of education skills training and the specialised accredited offending behaviour and substance abuse courses, needs are addressed and risks reduced. Working together with national corporations, local businesses, voluntary organisations, the Learning and Skills Council, education providers and others, contributes to the success of the training and development needs for prisoners at Swinfen Hall and prepares them for a crime free life on release.

The prison is squalid, most windows in cells lack glass. Violence against staff and against other prisoners is high and some prisoners are afraid to leave their cells. Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform said "We read of a prison where men are so frightened for their safety because of rising violence that they are refusing to come out of their cells. Many prisons are overcrowded, but Swinfen Hall is not, which makes this report particularly concerning."

Many prisoners say illegal drugs are easy to get.[3]


  1. ^ "Glowing report on youth jail". 3 April 2001. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
  2. ^ "Swinfen Hall under pressure to improve". 25 January 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-16. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Swinfen Hall prison cell windows have 'no glass' BBC
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HM Prison Swinfen Hall
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