Regime information for Birmingham Prison

Birmingham is a local prison with education and training places for approximately 500 prisoners. The training is varied and includes construction courses in bricklaying, plumbing, painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery and multi-skills. Other vocational training and work opportunities available include forklift truck training, industrial cleaning, NVQ Catering, Aramark canteen packing, textiles and contract services.

The education provision provides a comprehensive programme within two education departments for approximately 160 students. There is also a large outreach provision involving the vulnerable wing, day care centre and workshops. Courses available consist of basic/key skills, information technology, social and life skills, business skills, creative and performing arts, NVQ barbering and distance learning/Open University study. Students have the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications on all courses. The education provision is managed by Derby College.

The Information, Advice & Guidance Team conduct basic skills assessment and an induction programme for new prisoners to identify any educational needs. They also provide advice and support to prisoners relating to education and training needs both within custody and on release.

Birmingham has an active Resettlement Unit which concentrates on housing, benefits and employment issues, using extensive links with the outside community. The Resettlement Team and the Information, Advice & Guidance Team deliver a basic employability course which provides support and guidance to help prisoners secure employment and training on release. The Resettlement Team are also supported by staff from Job Centre Plus and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The prison’s library service is provided by Birmingham Libraries. All prisoners have weekly timetabled access to the library and sessions last for 45 minutes. There is an extensive legal collection and facilities for independent learners. The stock is wide-ranging with special collections of employment, health, community information, ESOL (English Speakers of other Languages) and basic skills materials. There is also a learning centre within the library to provide additional learning support with dyslexia, ESOL and various courses.

Gymnasium and sports: Physical Education (PE) is provided on a daily basis over a seven day period and evenings over five days. The PE provided falls into several categories including those with special needs, full/part-time, recreational PE, coached sports and games, healthy living and substance treatment unit.

There are a number of sports delivered and also sports related subjects from basic skills to NVQ Level 2 in Sports and Recreation. The accredited courses are provided at differing levels offering the opportunity for progression and range from personal performance awards to nationally recognised vocational training. The department has extremely strong links with other regime providers including the chaplaincy, healthcare, resettlement and education.

Chaplaincy: there are five full-time chaplains (Roman Catholic, Church of England, Free Church and Muslim). There are also part-time staff including Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu chaplains. Birmingham has a very diverse chaplaincy team offering a wide range of pastoral care/support to prisoners and staff. The chaplaincy team also deliver the Sycamore Tree project which is a victim awareness course.

HM Prison Service

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