Grendon Prison information


Region: Greater London


HM Prison Grendon
Grendon Underwood
HP18 0TL

Tel: 01296 445000
Fax: 01296 445001

Governor: Jamie Bennett

Category: B/C

Operational Capacity: 238

Democratic Therapeutic Communities (which are also provided at HMPs Dovegate, Gartree, Send and Warren Hill) provide group based therapy within a social climate which promotes positive relationships, personal responsibility and social participation.  Therapeutic Communities address a range of offender needs including interpersonal relationships, emotional regulation, self-management and psychological wellbeing.

HMP Grendon provides group therapy and structured community living where members are encouraged to have shared responsibility for day to day decision-making and problem solving. TC intervention centres on addressing the risk factors and offending behaviour needs that inevitably emerge in this environment.

Key features of TCs include:

  • daily group or community meetings
  • the use of community activities to promote skill development and generalisation, e.g. work assignments, delegated responsibilities, organising events, involvement in prisoner/staff committees
  • staff supporting the community in democratic decision-making and providing pro social role models
  • staff and prisoners challenging and giving feedback about behaviour that is anti-social or linked to offending behaviour patterns.

Reception criteria:

The basic referral criteria includes:

  • Cat B or C
  • Has more than 18 months to serve
  • Has been off Category A or escape list for at least six months
  • Meets “drug-free” criteria (no positive drug tests within two months of referral)
  • No current diagnosis of major mental illness
  • Comprehension of rules/signs compact
  • Accepts responsibility for/is not appealing against offence
  • Meets self-harm criteria (no self-harm within two months of referral)

There is clear evidence that the therapeutic community approach is effective. Research shows that the institutional behaviour of prisoners improves including reduced adjudications and acts of self-harm. Surveys of staff and prisoners also show that they both report higher quality of life than in comparable establishments. In addition, there is research evidence that they reduce the risk of reoffending for those who remain in treatment for at least 18 months.



HM Prison Service


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