Gartree 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.

Gartree opened in 1965 as a category C training prison but quickly changed its role and came within the high security system, reverting to a category B prison in 1992.

Since then the population of indeterminate sentenced prisoners has been growing and in 1997 its role changed to that of a main lifer centre.


Gallow Field Road
Market Harborough
LE16 7RP

Tel: 01858 426 600
Fax: 01858 426 601

Governor: Babafemi Dada

Accommodation: Double cells on induction unit where prisoners will spend the first few weeks of their stay at Gartree before moving to a single cell.

Operational capacity: 707 as of 18th June 2012

Reception criteria: Indeterminate sentence prisoners. Those serving IPP sentences will be considered on an individual basis.

Offending Behaviour Work
All of the programmes and services offered at HMP Gartree are designed to target specific areas of Risk in order to help prisoners look at adapting their behaviour in order to lower their risk. These are part of Gartree’s Local Policy in Reducing Re-offending (Pathway 7 Attitudes, Thinking & Behaviour). The programmes and services that form the suite of interventions at Gartree are as follows:

  • Gartree Therapeutic Community (GTC)
  • TC for those with Learning Disabilities (TC+)
  • Thinking Skills Programme (TSP)
  • Healthy Relationships Programme (HRP)
  • Violence Reduction Programme (VRP)
  • Psychologically Informed Planned Environment (PIPE)

Gartree Therapeutic Community
The GTC provides an open living-learning environment for community members.  They are empowered to make their own decisions, although they can expect to be questioned by the whole community on any matter e.g. a decision not to go to work or a decision to change the daily timetable.

It also provides a long term, residential, offending behaviour intervention for community members who have a range of offending behaviour risk areas and longstanding emotional and relationship difficulties.

The GTC is a 23 bedded unit with a group-based setting where community members can undertake therapy.

TC+   (Therapeutic Community for those with Learning Disabilities)
‘TC+’ works in a similar way as mainstream Therapeutic Communities in prisons. The approach however is changed to support prisoners with Learning Disability (LD), and/ or an IQ of under 80, in accessing therapy.

TC+ encourages community members to address offence related risk and associated personality and psychological problems. They deliver a core treatment model suitable for sentenced prisoners with a wide range of offending needs.

TSP (Thinking Skills Programme)
TSP aims to reduce the risk of re-offending. It does this by helping participants to develop thinking skills to manage their own Personal Risk Factors (the things in life that increase the risk of offending), develop Protective Factors (things that lead away from or stop offending) and help to achieve Pro-Social Goals (still getting what participants want in life without offending to get it).

RESOLVE is a moderate intensity cognitive-behavioural intervention that aims to reduce violence in medium to high risk adult male offenders. RESOLVE is suitable for offenders with a history of reactive (emotionally driven) or instrumental (planned) violence.

HRP (Healthy Relationships Programme)The aim of the HRP is to help participants examine their experiences of feeling powerful and powerless in different settings and enable them to take personal responsibility for issues of violence.

There are two versions of HRP; the High Intensity is 68 sessions and the Moderate Intensity is 28 sessions long. Sessions last approximately two and a half hours. There are 1:1 sessions and out of group work included as part of the Programme.

VRP (Violence Reduction Programme)
The Violence Reduction Programme is the alternative violence programme that will replace CSCP at HMP Gartree in late 2013.

VRP targets high risk violent offenders and has similar programme aims to CSCP. The primary aims are to decrease the frequency and intensity of violent behaviour, decrease or eliminate antisocial beliefs and attitudes that support violence and aggression and to teach interpersonal and cognitive skills that are effective in reducing further violent crimes.

PIPE (Psychologically Informed Planned Environment)
The PIPE Unit aims to provide prisoners with progression support following a period of high intensity treatment or offending behaviour programmes in custody (e.g. DSPD, Therapeutic Communities, CSCP, and HRP). Prisoners who come onto the PIPE will be expected to have successfully completed such programmes and be motivated to applying what they have learnt in the PIPE environment.

Learning and Skills
HMP Gartree has a range of Workshops that operate within the establishment that are geared to promoting Employment Skills for prisoners to be able to use at subsequent prisons they may be sent to and ultimately for use when they are released. Workshops provided range from traditional craft and practical trades training (including Textile manufacturing for both internal and external clients, recycling and woodworking, Plastic Injection Moulding and Production Laundry) to advanced training in Information Technology in our PICTA (Prison Information Technology Academy) workshop which offers CISCO accredited training.
HMP Gartree also runs the Story Book Dads programme and provides a bespoke recording service for local and regional Talking Newspapers. In our Studio prisoners are able to develop skills in web design and desk top publishing for internal and external customers. This also includes our own internal Prisoner Newspaper.

We have substantial grounds which offer our prisoners the chance to develop their horticultural skills and to contribute to the local community by engagement with local Britain in Bloom events in Market Harborough.

Education, provided by Milton Keynes College, is a cornerstone of our work and is promoted as an essential activity for new prisoners to the establishment. We set high standards and will want to see those in our charge developing skill and ability up to Level 2 in Literacy, Numeracy and Information Technology, all of which are critically important both to employers and in allowing learners to achieve their full potential.

HMP Gartree prides itself in having an outward-looking approach towards engaging with a diverse range of public sector, private sector and third sector organisations all of which contribute to developing employment skills and increasing the self esteem of prisoners within the establishment. We have contracts with commercial organisations to deliver qualifications in our Production Workshops, on our Residential Wings and across a wide range of employment within the prison. We engage with numerous local and regional Further Education Colleges to underpin our work and provide activity that stretches and develops a wide range of skills; Leicester College provides qualifications in our Production Kitchen and Gymnasium. We work with local Third Sector organisations including the Harborough Transition Group (running a Community Garden), U3A, Workers Education Association and Probus Leicestershire. HMP Gartree is an active member of the Welland Valley Rotary Club.

Latest inspection report: HMP Gartree - November 2017

Latest action plan: HMP Gartree - June 2018

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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