Regime information for Pentonville Prison

The regime of the prison involves prisoners attending work, education, gym and offending behaviour courses Monday-Friday from 08:30 - 11:30 and 14:00 - 16:00. The remaining prisoners on the wing are unlocked during the period for association which comprises of phone calls, showers and available wing activities (such as pool tables). The Library has recently been relocated and re-furbished and opens throughout the week to allow prisoners access to reading materials. Visits take place both AM and PM from Monday-Saturday. Sunday visits (PM only) are reserved for Enhanced status prisoners. Roman Catholic and Church of England services takes place every Sunday and a Muslim serivce takes place every Friday in the mosque.

For more detailed information on the regime please refer below.

Accommodation & Facilities
Pentonville has 7 residential wings:

  • A wing – Induction and First Night Centre. This wing has recently been refurbished to cater for new arrivals into custody
  • B wing – Currently the detoxification wing however plans are in place to convert this area into a resettlement wing
  • C and G Wings are for remand and convicted prisoners and provide services including education, workshops and offending behavior courses
  • D Wing – Is the enhanced wing
  • E Wing – Foreign Nationals
  • F Wing – Currently coming to the end of its refurbishment and will then open as a Substance Misuse Unit

All wings have been refurbished and offer generally good quality accommodation with integral sanitation, showers, hot water boiler and card phones. The Personal Officer scheme remains undeveloped however there are plans to develop the Support Officer Scheme on the residential units. There is now more time out-of-cell for prisoners during the core day and in the evenings for all the wings.

Prisoners have the opportunity to attend work, gym, education and offending behaviour courses and chapel. The prison is well recognised for its drug intervention programmes to help prisoners address their offending behaviour. The prison works in partnership with other outside voluntary agencies to support prisoners while in custody and when they are released from custody.

Drug Strategy
2009 will see the implementation of the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) at HMP Pentonville. This is basically an Enhanced Drug treatment programme for prisoners with substance misuse problems, with the underlying theme being Continuity of Care. It is absolutely vital that a multi-disciplinary approach is adopted in the delivery of this treatment programme, involving Clinical staff, CARATs staff, Discipline staff, DIP Officers and community based drug treatment agencies.

The main emphasis is placed on the initial 28 days treatment of the prisoner, whereby he will receive the expected clinical care, but apart from CARATs assessment, careplan and rferral process, they will be delivering a structured psycho-social programme which includes various harm minimisation and health promotion modules.

On a much wider Drug Strategy approach, we still maintain a very strong Supply Reduction team which involves the Mandatory Drug Testing Programme(MDT), The Dog Handlers, and Intelligence Officers. On the other hand we actively support prisoners who wish to rehabilitate themselves by treating their drug addiction problem. For them, we have the Voluntary Drug Testing Programme, Drug Intervention Programmes like the Short Duration Programme (SDP), and Prison Addressing Substance Related Offending (P-ASRO). To help with an easier transition back into the community, we have the CARATs team and DIP workers from some of our local London Boroughs (Islington, Haringey, Camden, & Newham) where we have built very strong links with.

At HMP Pentonville we realise the importance of reducing the availability and use of drugs in prison and have made it an establishment-wide objective right across the various Functions. All staff play a part in the delivery of our Drug Strategy.

Offender Management
The Offender Management Unit is comprised of Prison & Probation staff applying a multi-agency working approach with the aim of reducing reoffending and protecting the public. They are responsible for Sentence Planning Boards, Parole, Licence Recalls, Home Detention Curfew, Phase 2 (High Risk/Prolific & Priority Offenders) & Phase 3 (Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection/Lifers) Offender work, and Prisoner Transfers.

Public Protection work includes Risk Management Meetings/MAPPA (Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements)/Prolific & Priority Offenders work and the completion of risk assessments.

The Offender Supervisor/Probation Officer work closely with the Offender Managers in the community. Staff attend external meetings when risk issues need to be addressed to protect the public/staff/offender.

Learning & Skills
The education service is contracted out to City & Islington FE College and operates within the prison from two main sites on E and G Wings and over a 52 week year, closing for bank holidays and specific inset days. All prisoners are given an education induction briefing by education staff.

Discrete classes for mainstream and VPs include Skills for Life from below entry level to and including level 3, literacy & numeracy, ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages), ICT and Art.

The department runs a Resettlement programme. The Prison in partnership with City & Islington College and LAP has retained the Matrix Quality Standard for Information Advice & Guidance (IAG). IAG is provided to prisoners on request and/or referral from: Induction, wing officers, workshops, education. The Education department also offers specialist dyslexia help through the TTRS (Touch-type, Read, Hear, Spell) ICT programme.

Outreach provision includes ICT, Skills for Life, financial literacy, literacy & numeracy including ESOL, these are available in the workshops and gym, the Skilled for Health provision via the Health care unit is supported in this provision by a skills for life practitioner for literacy & numeracy. Accreditations available include ICT, New CLAIT, CLAIT Plus, ECDL, Programming-HTML, Audio Sequencing. Open College Network London Region accredits Art for painting and drawing.

Prisoners can apply to work in different areas depending on level of clearance which is decided at a weekly labour board. Wages range from £6.50 to £12.50 for employed; £2.50 is paid to the unemployed prisoners. Workshops are open Monday to Friday am and pm. The workshops are shortly undergoing a review to connect where possible training opportunities within the prison with post-release jobs.

Currently we employ prisoners in a Textile Workshop, Light industrial repairs, Light Industrial packing, cleaning, catering and Prisoner Representative jobs. Education opportunities in workshops are available through City and Islington College. Workshop Six works in partnership with Speedy Hire and accreditation is available in BICS (British Institute of Cleaning Science) and Bio Hazard , Open College Network, London region (OCN, LR); Welfare at Work and Industrial Sewing Machine Use, Basic PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing), Basic Skill Analysis is carried out as appropriate and Skills for Life examinations in literacy and numeracy. We currently (April 2009) aim to provide around 696 activity spaces each weekday.

Gymnasium & Sports
We have a sports hall and weights / CV room with Multi-gym, free weights and a variety of fitness equipment, PE programs run throughout the week with evening provision four evenings per week and are supervised by PE Officers. There is equality of access for all prisoners for the weights / CV sessions. Sessions include circuits and cardio vascular training, volleyball, basketball, badminton, weights, football and minor games. Accreditation is available for CSLA (Community Sports Leaders Award), BWLA (British Weight Lifting Association), FA level 1 (Football Association Coaching), Volleyball CSLA Award, Basketball Leaders award, First Aid, Heart Start, Manual Handling and Diet and nutrition.

There are good community links with Age Concern, Tough Talk, Arsenal FC, Street League, City and Islington College, local PCT and the Drug Free Power Lifting Team. We also offer dedicated sessions for those with disabilities and those in the DETOX unit. There are currently no outdoor sporting facilities available.

Healthcare provision in Pentonville has gone through a rigorous tendering process throughout 2008/09. The tender was awarded in November 2008 to the new provider and they began on April 1st 2009.

Healthcare is now delivered to the prisoners of HMP Pentonville via a group of Healthcare providers including three local Trusts, and the prison itself. The trusts are as follows

NHS Islington
Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust

We have a large purpose built healthcare centre which has 22 inpatient beds, a day care facility for patients with mental health problems that are managed on the wings. We also provide a number of consulting rooms both within the main prison and in the Healthcare Centre.

On each of the wings we have a primary care facility incorporating a GPs clinics and areas for the dispensing of medication. These will also include

  • Dentistry
  • Ophthalmology
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy

Substance Misuse Services are delivered by one of the NHS Providers (Camden & Islington NHS FT) we currently provide our detoxification regime on B wing, although Methadone Maintenance is provided in other areas. We are soon to open a purpose adapted SMU unit on F wing.

Mental Health Services are provided by BEH and C&I. We have numerous clinical reviews, as well as external and internal CPA case management arrangements. The Mental Health Team work closely with the prison to assess and manage risk in terms of cases where there a risk to staff or inmates.

In terms of overall Healthcare staffing we have recently undertaken a full review of the services provided. We are implementing new service models in both In Patient and Primary Care throughout 2009 and are recruiting to significant vacancies over the period including new roles in terms of Long Term Conditions Management and Primary Mental Health Care.

We have also invested in nurse training and have a qualified nurse prescriber amongst our team who will be utilising their training in a planned and phased developmental manner. We have a well developed clinical governance structure, through which we are constantly aiming to improve the quality of our healthcare.

A particular emphasis has been placed on training and development with a number of our staff to attend a variety of training programmes. We will be providing this training through the local provider and this will form part of their individual development plan and yearly staff appraisal.

A significant investment has been made to involve service users in the development of healthcare services and this will continue over 2009/10.

Pentonville has an Ecumenical Chapel, Synagogue and a Mosque, which is staffed by Full-time CE, RC Chaplains, and a Muslim Imam. Other Christian denominations and all other faiths permitted under the Prison Rules are represented by Sessional Chaplains.

There is further support from a pool of Prison Visitors, and other Chaplaincy volunteers. We offer a comprehensive list of opportunities for corporate worship including CE & RC Holy Mass Services on Sundays (Full Mass or Holy Communion Ecumenical Services for VPs is held separately.) Muslim Prayers are held in our dedicated Mosque on Fridays.

There are also different mid-week opportunities to encourage prisoners to engage with their faith through courses such as Muslim classes, the Alpha Course, bible studies, and choir practice. The Chaplaincy team is committed to engaging with outside faith communities with a focus on reducing re-offending. This is done where possible by linking offenders pre and post-release with their local faith community through agencies such as Caring For Ex-Offenders (CFEO).

Race & Diversity
HMP Pentonville actively works on our Positive Duty to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, promote good relations and equality of opportunity between people of different racial groups. Good Race Equality and diversity is promoted within the establishment to build a culture of understanding between staff, prisoners, visitors and contractors. The aim is to eradicate direct or indirect discriminatory behavior of any kind. The Governing Governor is personally responsible for Race Equality and Diversity, and they are standing agenda items at all Senior Management meetings. The Race & Diversity unit at HMP Pentonville incorporates a Race Equality Officer [REO], Equal Opportunities Officer [EOO] and a Disability Liaison Officer [DLO]. The REO is responsible for the investigation of all racial complaints, ethnic monitoring and the coordinating of equalities impact assessments.

Prisoners have free access to racist incidents complaint forms and are encouraged to use the system in place. Systems are in place to protect those who fear reprisals. Prisoners and staff with disabilities are able to participate equally in all aspects of prison life. Staff and prisoners are encouraged to disclose their disability in a confidential manner and where necessary, reasonable adjustments will be made.

Prison Shop
We issue each prisoner with an order form stating his spending allowance which will provides prisoners with an opportunity to spend once a week his IEP spending allowance. The stock consists of some 350 items and includes a range of ethnic and religious products. DHL Booker will be taking over the service from June 2009 as part of a National Programme.

HM Prison Service


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