Durham Prison information


Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.  

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. You can:

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

Durham was built in the early 19th Century and has been undergoing a major refurbishment programme during the last 10 years.

It is a Reception Prison serving the courts in the Newcastle, Durham, Teesside and Cumbria area.


Old Elvet

Tel: 0191 332 3400
Fax: 0191 332 3401

Current Governor: Phil Husband

Operational capacity: 996 as of 10 February 2017.

Accommodation: 7 wings plus Segregation and Healthcare.

Reception criteria: Remand Male Prisoners both Adult and Young Offenders (18-21) and a low proportion of Sentenced Category B & C prisoners completing key working roles within the prison. (from May 31st 2017).

Latest inspection report: HMP Durham - September 2018 (PDF)

Action plan: HMP Durham - April 2019 (PDF)

HMIP Independent review of progress - report July 2019

HMPPS response to independent review of progress 

Regime: The learning, skills & employment function at HMP Durham offer prisoners the opportunity to participate in a plethora of educational, vocational training and employability courses to increase their employability chances upon release.

Novus is the educational provider and the curriculum comprises skills for life, IT, customer service, art, horticulture and ESOL.

HMP Durham staff provide sector based vocational training workshops in partnership with Novus which reflect the local labour market. HMP Durham focuses vocational training in the following sectors, construction, IT, warehousing, recycling and food and hospitality.

Employability is the key focus of Learning, Skills & Employment provision. A purpose built Careers Centre provides prisoners with a range of employability courses to support their employment goals upon release. Prisoners are supported in the unit by dedicated professionals who are committed to supporting prisoners prior to and post release. All provision is focused on progression toward employability.

If you have any concerns about your friend, family member or loved one who is residing at HMP Durham please ring 0191 332 3695 ( Safer Custody Helpline). A member of staff will log your concerns and pass this to the relevant department who will investigate and respond on the number you provide as soon as is practicable. For less urgent queries, please email the Safer Custody departments function mailbox on Safercustodydurham@justice.gov.uk - please note this mailbox is only monitored between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. A member of the team will pick up your concern, pass it on to the relevant department and reply back to your email as soon as is practicable.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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