Regime information for Onley Prison

Onley opportunities

The regime at Onley strongly reflects our philosophy of training in a working environment which reflects the Governments Green Paper - Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, on preparing Offenders for work on release to help them stop offending in future.  It is our aim that activity and employment areas have a clearly identified Resettlement pathway with externally accredited qualifications to help prisoners lead law abiding lives of release.

All prisoners should have an individual sentence plan which details realistic aspirations and targets for achievement. All sentences are structured and a prisoner typically progresses through:- Reception, Induction , Sentence Planning, Education/Training/Employment, Pre-Release activity, such as  release from custody or progression to Open conditions.

Prisoners are encouraged to take responsibility for their progress and the way they contribute to their sentence. Many are involved as Peer Supporters and Listeners (who help those at risk of self harm) and Various Champions such as healthcare and the new smoke free champions.


There are one hundred and twenty education places in total. In addition, inclusive learning support is offered in the vocational training workshops and on the segregation wing. Education may be followed on a full or part time basis depending on the age and needs of the prisoner and meets the requirements of both the National Curriculum and National Specifications for numeracy, literacy and information technology.


HMP Onley is working towards offering training places in all industries and activity areas where possible.  These include; Workshops covering subjects:  Concrete (which includes Forklift Truck qualification), Painting and Decorating, ,  Wood Work, Bricklaying, Market Gardens, Dry Linining, Assembly, Kitchen work, Industrial Cleaning and the Waste Management Unit.  Onley has a Halfords Academy (bikes) ,Halfords Auto Center and Ricoh digital Printing workshop, these areas have the potential to offer employment on release.

Prisoner Learning Support

Basic Skills, Key Skills and language support is offered to all prisoners across all activity areas. This may be within formal, time tabled sessions or may be workplace based. Particular support is offered to those prisoners completing NVQ portfolios and distance learning.  Shannon Trust provides support to help prisoners improve their reading skills.


HMP Onley provides a multi-faith Chaplaincy Team to meet the Spiritual and Faith needs of the prisoners.  In addition to regular Services, there are various groups including Arabic Classes, Bible Studies and a Friendly Space Group that offers a safe and peaceful time of caring support.  The chaplaincy works in partnership with Prison Fellowship and community volunteers to deliver eight Sycamore Tree; Victim Awareness courses each year. The team also works with Futures Unlocked; Community Chaplain Project, offering mentoring support to prisoners on release.


Onley has a well stocked and well staffed library. The library is open weekdays, four evenings and Saturdays.  The stock comprises approximately 8000 books, videos, magazines and newspapers. There are four multimedia computers for prisoner use and reprographics facilities are available. There is a large stock of speaking books and foreign language material. Prisoner learning support is available in the evenings so that they can fully benefit from the facilities.


Onley has type 2 Healthcare with an out patient service (open 7 days a week). The Healthcare Service is provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, which includes a mental health In reach team provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. There is a full time Medical Officer and the establishment makes use of NHS services for Dental, Optical, G.U.M. and Psychiatric services as well as IDTS.

Drugs and Alcohol Strategy

Prisoners with drugs or alcohol issues on J-Wing are able to access the Substance Misuse Services for one to one Psychosocial Support and Clinical treatment, for example, detoxification.  Services are set up to provide a model of care tier 2/3 service.  Delivering services/interventions in accordance with the NICE Routes for recovery Guidance.  HMP Onley also provides access to the Alcohol Interventions Service, Auricular Acupuncture, Family Link, Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery Groups.  We also have K-Wing, which is set up as a Recovery Wing where those subject to clinical treatment have onsite facilities that support their detoxification.


HMP Onley Probation staff are part of the Offender Management Unit and share responsibility for risk assessments, casework and resettlement. The aim of the team is to ensure effective targeting of the resources and participation in the regime at Onley. Core work includes OASys risk assessments, Public Protection, Offender Management, ROTL, HDC and Sentence Planning. They also fulfil the Treatment Managers role for the Thinking Skills Programme.

Offending Behaviour Programmes

HMP Onley offers the Thinking Skills Programme course (TSP) as well as the RESOLVE programme for prisoners risk assessed as being suitable with an identified need.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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