Pentonville Prison information
Pentonville prison was the prototype for a radical design by Major Jebb - after whom the avenue on which Brixton prison stands was named. Pentonville was completed over 170 years ago and has remained in use ever since as a local prison. Although much refurbishment has taken place the original four cellblocks are as they were when the prison opened in 1842.
Tel: 020 7023 7000
Fax: 020 7023 7001
Governor: Gary Monaghan
Operational capacity: 1297 as of May 2013
Reception criteria: Normal reception arrangements: Pentonville is a local prison, it accepts all suitable male prisoners over the age of 21 from courts in its catchment area.
There has been significant improvement made at Pentonville over the last two years. Our short term priorities have been addressed and we are demonstrating continuous improvement in other areas.
An innovative Personal Officer Scheme was introduced in 2012 which enables landing staff, Offender Supervisors and other agencies to share information and provide greater support for prisoners, ensuring offending behaviour targets are met and the prisoner is fully engaged with the process.
In the absence of central capital or refurbishment money the establishment has improved the prison’s infrastructure to provide greater opportunity for offenders to engage in purposeful activity during a longer working day, and contribute to their rehabilitation. This supports the recent Government directives to reduce re-offending and empowers offenders to address their offending behaviour, and contribute in a purposeful way to their own rehabilitation. This will also be recognised by work undertaken via the ‘Pathways Action Plan’ in the Reducing Re-Offending Strategy. This locally has been called the `What’s in it for me’ project and includes the concept of Every Contact Matters.
A new Short Term Offender Plan (STOP) has been introduced as part of an action plan to reduce re-offending. STOP will help offenders address issues relating to the 7 Reducing Re-Offending pathways, and ensure they engage with their rehabilitation with the aim of reducing the risk of re-offending after release.
Pentonville was previously the 3rd worst prison nationally for positive drugs tests; following the robustly driven ‘War on Drugs’ our MDT rate is consistently below the targets set. We have dedicated treatment programmes available to offenders in recognition of the ongoing problem with drugs in addition to a recently opened drugs free Unit.
We recognise future ‘New Ways of Working’ and the resultant reduction in staff will be a testing and challenging time for all of us in Pentonville. We have worked hard to ensure that the new structure is as safe and decent as possible, within the constraints imposed with the major re-organisation. We will strive to lead the Establishment through this period with clear direction and robust support, and continue identifying strategic improvements necessary in order to fulfil the strategic vision for the prison in line with NOMS priorities.