Lewes Prison information


Lewes acquired a new prison in the middle of the 19th century, partially planned on the radial system and built of local flint, surrounded by a high wall. The prison was situated outside the town when it was built and a generous amount of land was enclosed within the perimeter. This has allowed for the building of additional facilities over the years, including a new 174 accommodation unit, gymnasium and multi-faith centre in 2008. Today the prison is fully listed and stands at the western end of the town and is within the South Downs National Park. The role of HMP Lewes is primarily to serve the local courts, but also accommodates some sentenced prisoners and those awaiting release.


HMP Lewes
1 Brighton Road
East Sussex

Tel: 01273 785 100
Fax: 01273 785 101

Governor: Hannah Lane

Operational capacity: 692

Reception criteria: Male only, convicted and remand, adult and local remand young offenders - no provision for sentenced young offenders.

Accommodation: Lewes prison is a combination of original, Victorian wings comprising mainly shared accommodation and a new build unit consisting of 174 single cells.

Regime: HMP Lewes provides a limited range of work, education and training activities, including:

  • Education provision for all abilities in a variety of subjects, including IT.
  • Work is available in a small contract services workshop, as well as in, Stores and Kitchen.
  • Vocational training, providing opportunities to earn industry recognised qualifications can be undertaken whilst working in some of these areas, as well as dedicated vocational learning which includes courses in Multi Skills (painting and decorating), Barista, Food Safety, Food Preparation and Cooking, Horticulture, Waste Management and Sports Leadership.  Short courses aimed at increasing employability are provided, including first aid at work qualifications.
  • Domestic and industrial cleaning work is also available on residential wings and in some work areas.
  • Accredited programmes aimed at reducing the risk of reoffending are provided.
  • A PE programme is available, as is weekly library access for all.
    A team of Listeners trained by the Samaritans are available day and night for those who need additional support.

Healthcare: Health Care Services at HMP Lewes are provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. There is  currently a 9 bed inpatient unit, an outpatient facility, a pharmacy and a range of clinics.

Drugs Strategy: Substance misuse services are provided under contract by the Forward Trust in partnership with Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust. Residents are interviewed on reception. Detoxification is offered if needed and a dedicated 26 bed Stabilisation Unit exists to provide suitable accommodation during this period. The Forward Trust team is a multi-disciplinary and provides a range of interventions and assistance to those who need help in addressing substance misuse

Families and significant others wishing to contact the prison with an immediate concern about a resident should contact the Safer Custody hotline 01273 785392 or email Safercustodylewes@justice.gov.uk. This hotline is staffed during the core working day / week with the opportunity to leave a message and staff will respond as soon as they can. If it is deemed urgent, concerned family members can make contact with the Orderly Officer via the switchboard.

In conjunction with our Family Services Provider, Spurgeon’s we have produced a Visitors Guide which includes details on how to book visits.

Related Documents

Legal visits email booking form

Lewes visitors' guide

Report of Unannounced Prison Inspection of HMP Lewes: 14, 21–25 January 2019

HMP Lewes Action Plan July 2019

HMP Lewes IRP Dec 2019

HMP Lewes IRP Response Letter Dec 2019

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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