Doncaster Prison information


Opened in June 1994. Operated under contract by Serco.


Off North Bridge Road

Tel: 01302 764388
Fax: 01302 763241

Director: John Tolland

Controller: Ruth Kerr

Operational capacity: 1145 as of 27 February 2009

Accommodation: Three houseblocks, each houseblock has 4 wings which hold 90 to 96 prisoners. The Health Care Centre has 13 beds for in-patients on one floor with a further 36 beds on the lower floor.

Reception criteria: No criteria set.

General Information

HMP & YOI Doncaster opened as a Core Local Prison (Cat A) in June 1994 and underwent extensive security upgrading as per the Woodcock recommendations in March 1999. The prison downgraded to a local Category B establishment in May 2003 following operational changes within the Prison Service’s High Security Estate.  Operated since that time by Serco, Doncaster was built by on the site of a former power station in the city centre, on an island between a river and a canal.

Serco has been awarded a 15 year contract from NOMS, to continue to manage the prison until 2026.

Doncaster prison is currently a busy town-centre category B local prison holding 1,145 remand and sentenced young offenders and adult male prisoners. It processes about 2,000 new arrivals a month and is regarded as a challenging prison to run – but according the Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Of Prisons in 2010, the prison rose to that challenge well.

“The prison sought to maintain a proper balance between security and respect and was largely successful in doing so.”

In support of the Government’s stance on prisons being ‘Tough But Intelligent’ the prison operates a Zero-Tolerance approach to substance misuse and violence, which is enforced by a tough incentives and earned privileges (IEP) scheme that regulates prisoners’ entitlements according to their behaviour.  Restorative Justice is at the centre of conflict management within the prison and many front line staff are trained in Tier 1 mediation. 

In October 2011 Serco were awarded a new 15 year operating contract for the prison which included a ‘Pathfinder’ project based on Payment By Results.  Doncaster is the first prison in the world to be run on this basis and the measure of success is total desistence from re-offending within a 12 month period of discharge from Doncaster.  The project is fully scaled and will involve all sentenced prisoners discharged from the prison.  The Pathfinder is for 4 years involving 12 month cohorts.  

Our Vision and Mission

At Doncaster we have long been regarded as pioneers when it comes to the re-settlement of prisoners.  The advent of Payment By Results has led to a further ‘Step Change’ in the way prisoners are managed.  Being given the autonomy and the responsibility for determining just how prisoners are supported both in and out of custody, as well as what interventions should be applied and more importantly at what point in the process, has led to ground-breaking new initiatives and a true end to end process.

Through our Alliance Case Management model, and in partnership with Catch 22, as well as numerous other organisations in all sectors, we are changing the way that prisons are run in a way that must lead to completely new approaches across the estate.  
We have managed to successfully reverse the current trend, where everyone is looking for things to do less of due to spending restrictions by boldly stepping out into the communities of South Yorkshire and by tapping into the need for organisations to demonstrate ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and Social Inclusion.

Our Vision Statement sums up the objective of the overarching strategy at HMP Doncaster.

 “We will break the cycle of recidivism and reduce reoffending rates by imbuing our offenders with the attitudes, skills and education to enable their return to society as pro-social citizens.”

Our Mission statement outlines the actions necessary to achieve our Vision.

We will create a pathway for change that supports offenders and encourages them to believe in themselves, turning away from crime, and building a better future.

We will empower our people to provide a service that focuses upon the needs of the individual and respects the personal journey he must take towards success.

Whilst in our care, offenders will learn to identify their triggers and develop the alternative behaviours necessary to enable them to break their cycle of reoffending.

We will cross the boundaries of our establishment to partner with external organisations within the community to ensure continuity of support for offenders post release.

We will embrace collaboration with external stakeholders and recognise the expertise and contribution they can make on a prisoner’s journey to permanent change. 

By working together, we will signpost that path both pre and post release and engage prisoners to make the right choice.

By realising our vision we will break the cycle of reoffending, unlock potential and create real opportunities for change.

HM Prison Service


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