Regime information for Holme House Prison

HM Prison Holme House is a category B establishment for male adults.

Young male adults are integrated within the general population.

Holme House can offer a variety of employment opportunities within its modern workshop complex. These are complemented and supported by a purpose built Education Department offering both part and full time classes.

The Prison Enterprise workshops consist of 10 individual work/training areas and offer up to 206 full time prisoner places based on 31.5 hour, four and a half day week. The work/training currently on offer consists of the following:

DHL Canteen

A DHL warehouse operates within Holme House processing canteen forms and picking/packing for eight establishments in the North East. This provides employment for 40 prisoners and NVQ qualifications can be attained.


A large industrial Laundry processing work for Commercial contracts and all the prisons in the North East Area. This workshop employs up to 50 prisoners on a full time basis. Embedded learning for maths and english is available within the workshop and NVQ qualifications can be attained.

This workshop also offers training in all aspects of the commercial laundry industry. 


A small busy woodmill producing a wide range of furniture and other timber products for both the internal and external market. Specialising in hardwood furniture.This workshop employs up to 16 prisoners and offers training in a wide range of wood machining and assembly skills including wood turning and spray finishing as well as the use of basic and powered hand tools. This workshop provides NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations.

CNC Assembly

A compact workshop employing 20 prisoners assembling items of furniture for the internal and external market using the latest in CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) Technology. This workshop is involved in working with various charities. This workshop provides NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations.


This workshop employs up to 24 prisoners and offers training in all aspects of the garment cutting and sewing industry. Specifically in the production of prisoners clothing and bedding and also supplys external customers. This workshop offers NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations. There is also a small classroom offering Basic and Key Skills.

Large Print

Located within this workshop are an IT Skills Classroom offering a CLAIT qualification and a Large Print production area together offering 30 places, where the trainee can firstly learn to use a computer and then put these new found skills to use in providing a quality service to special schools and the other charitable organisations within our local area. The type of work includes transcribing children's books into large typeface for use by the visually impaired and the printing of Safety Guides and Engraved Signs for the local community. There is also a small classroom offering Basic and Key Skills.

Industrial Cleaning

This is a full time course based on Houseblock 2 offering the successful trainee a BICS's (British Institute of Cleaning Sciences) Certificate. The purpose of this course is to provide full-accredited training in all aspects of the Cleaning Industry and as a by-product to provide a cleaner, safer and more attractive environment for both prisoners and staff. The addition of a second party working outside the houseblock allows the trainee to gain valuable REAL work skills, using specialist cleaning equipment such as Pressure Washers, and Floor Cleaning machines.


A compact workshop employing 20 prisoners assembling items of furniture, combined with a small upholstery unit providing an upholstery service to both internal and external customers. This workshop is involved in working with various charities. This workshop provides NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Manufacturing Operations.


This full time course can last up to 30 weeks and offers skills training to City and Guilds standard, alongside other qualifications (e.g. Workright, Open College Passport to Painting & Decorating). Successful trainees will be professionally coached in every aspect of the Painting and Decorating Industry ranging from Artexing to Wall Papering and beyond.

Land Based Activities/Waste Management

The Gardens employs 12 prisoners on a full time basis , this workshop provides NVQ Level 1 & 2 qualifications in Amenity Horticulture, and Wamitab Level 1 & 2 in Waste Management. Embedded learning for Maths and English is available within the workshop.

The Amenity Horticulture covers all aspects of hard and soft landscaping, propagation of plants and seeds, turf maintenance and the care and rejuvenation of artificial sports surfaces.

The Waste Management Unit is responsible for the collection of all the various waste streams, produced by the prison, segregating the waste and recycling all commodities prior to disposal.


Holme House is committed to provide a safe, secure, healthy environment, free from harm. The first duty of the prison is to prevent escape. The department is also proactive in preventing illicit items coming into the establishment, working in partnership with other statutory agencies to stifle availability of illegal substances within the establishment and linking in with drug mis-users to address their offending behaviour. Security has a clear role in the Safer Prisons agenda.

Therapeutic Community

Located on Houseblock 6 - a residential unit of 65 beds - this accredited drug programme is designed to target the needs of severe drug – misusing prisoners. This rolling programme can run for a period of 18 months.

The Therapeutic Community (TC) for Men Programme is a high dose, total emersion programme, targeting medium to high-risk offenders for whom there is a link between their offending and problematic substance use.

The essential elements of the TC consist of the concepts, beliefs and assumptions, programme components and clinical and educational practices of TC programmes.

TCs are guided by a perspective consisting of four interrelated views of: the substance disorder, the person, recovery and ‘right living’.

Substance abuse is a disorder of the whole person.

Recovery is a self-help process of incremental learning toward a stable change in behaviour, attitudes and values of right living that are associated with maintaining abstinence.

The TC is the most intense form of drug treatment.

It is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week, total immersion into treatment that lasts a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 months.

Using a social learning theory model and a cognitive behavioural approach, the TC encourages residents to learn and develop skills and values necessary to live drug and crime free lifestyles.

Drug Recovery Wing

The aims and objectives of the drug recovery wing are to support prisoners in a variety of issues that affect their normal lives and lead them to drug and alcohol misuse;

  • To address drug and alcohol misuse
  • Social networking and relationships
  • Managing money
  • Self care and living skills
  • Motivation and taking responsibility
  • Offending
  • Managing tenancy and accommodation
  • Meaningful use of time
  • Emotional and mental heath
  • Physical health

The staff on the DRW supports prisoners by providing;

  • Continuous support through regular key work reports
  • Delivering a structured programme
  • Rebuilding family ties and relationships
  • Addressing physical and mental health issues
  • Support prisoners as they reduce their medication
  • Deliver group work sessions
  • An individual recovery plan
  • A safe, decent stable environment free from violent, anti social behaviour and drug misuse.

Clinical DART Unit

Clinical management of substance- misuse (detoxification) services provide support and intervention for drug- misusers to help achieve withdrawal from dependency; They also provide help and support in response to Hep B, C, and HIV with various literature & information available to prisoners in a variety of languages.

Prisoners are based on normal location (HB 4) supported by Health Care and have access to the DART programme, supported by a multi-disciplined approach.  An Inpatient unit is available to support DART clients coming into the establishment with identified alcohol concerns and those who require additional monitoring.

DART Non Clinical services, 1-1 and group work, psychosocial and structured day programmes, interventions including Alcohol groups for poly drug misuses

Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART)

HMP Holme House is part of the third wave (IDTS now DART), and become a live site in 2009. DART- Drug Alcohol Recovery Team was introduced in April 2012 and is joint working between both clinical and non clinical teams. A multi disciplined team of staff, run in conjunction with Care UK and Phoenix Futures, providing low level interventions that provide gateway assessment, referral and support service to prisoners both within custody and upon initial release. Excellent links to Drugs Action Teams and Drugs Intervention Programmes in the community.

The DART Team aims to:

  • Improve volume and quality of clinical interventions.
  • Provide structured psychosocial interventions 
  • Ensure closer integration of drug treatment services in prison.
  • Strengthen lines to community services.
Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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