Regime information for Styal Prison

Learning and Skills

The education provision at Styal is contracted out to NOVUS. Staff includes a full time  Education Manager, Deputy Manager, Vocational and Functional skills team leaders, tutors, trainers and annualised and sessional teachers.

Styal has a self-contained education department offering nationally accredited programmes in hairdressing, beauty, functional skills, ICT, business admin, art and design, ESOL, outreach education, catering, industrial cleaning, painting & decorating, horticulture, media, customer service, employability skills and Open University support. All courses can be accessed on a part or full time basis and mothers on the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) can also access crèche places and then attend education.

The library, provided by Cheshire County Council, is based in a self-contained unit providing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, a range of CDs and DVDs are also available plus four computers for learning (without internet access). Prisoners produce a quarterly magazine known as ‘Innit' which received a national award for the quality of journalism in 2006.

Gymnasium and Sports

Three PE officers staff the PE department, which consists of a small but well equipped gymnasium, used for a variety of team games and fitness-related activities, a stage area, which houses cardio vascular and resistance machines and a selection of free weights, and a sports field, used for a variety of activities (weather permitting).

There is a comprehensive PE programme offering an impressive range of activities focused on the women's needs including provision for the over 50’s, mothers and babies, and those with mental health and substance misuse issues  PE is offered during the core day, at weekends and four evenings per week. Information about facilities and activities is available in reception, on the First Night Centre, Women’s Centre and on residential accommodation.

The PE department offers a variety of course work predominantly aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles but also focusing on the resettlement agenda by delivering courses that lead to nationally accredited qualifications.

Peer Mentoring Scheme

Styal has developed a Peer Mentoring scheme. The mentors are trained by NOVUS to a level 2 qualification in mentoring . They provide advice support and signposting to agencies for the women, including informing   about women centers in the community . Styal has developed specialised mentors to provide support to OMU/Shelter and deliver book clubs to improve literacy .


Styal has a  Painting and Decorating,  ICT Training and Art and design workshops. There is also a Recycling lives employment workshop which is run by Recycling lives  where women dismantle computers and T.V’s into component parts, with a view to obtaining employment on release.

Employment is also available in Land based Activities, Kitchens, House Cleaning, Reception, Women’s Centre, Health Care Centre, Visits, Mental Health Resources Centre, Gymnasium and the Library.

The quality of work is generally good, activity levels are high and purposeful, and nationally recognised qualifications are obtainable in several employment areas.


There is a diverse Chaplaincy team representing world faiths managed by a full-time Anglican Chaplain.  Corporate worship takes place on a weekly basis and meets the needs of all the Christian traditions as well as the Buddhist and Islamic traditions, all with regular attendance. The Chaplaincy also provide  a number of personal development based courses such as Sycamore Tree, SORI, Peace Maker and Peace Education.

Faith and Spirituality courses include Rosary Class, Catholic Education, Bible Study together with specific faith courses around major festivals e.g. Lent . The team also provide a  weekly support group for women who are on ACCT documents along with 1:1 pastoral support where required. The Chaplaincy offers bereavement support and a quiet space for personal prayer.


Catering is provided from a central kitchen, where pre-select menus with healthy eating and various options are available for all prisoners. Within the population, there are five self-catering units, Paterson, Nightingale, Mellanby, Fox and Acorn (MBU), where women can cook their own meals.


Contract run by Spectrum Community Health C.I.C. there is either a  Doctor on site Monday to Saturday or an NMP covering GP clinics and First Night Centre new receptions. Clinic sessions cover genitor-urinary health and family planning, Nurse triage, stop smoking,  long term conditions, screening, procedures, and midwifery. Once a week there is a specialist podiatry service and physiotherapy, which is arranged by referral only and a fortnightly optometrist service. There is also monthly ultra sound and x-ray service. In addition there is independent Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services (Lifeline Project) and a family support worker who works with women with children who have drug and alcohol issues.

Social care is delivered with the support from Wilmslow SMART and there is an allocated social care coordinator.

Dental services are currently available Monday to Friday with onsite x-ray .

Consultant psychiatrist clinics and visiting counsellors are facilitated by the Integrated Mental Health Team (Greater Manchester West NHS Trust).

All prisoners receive a health screen on admission to prison within 24 hours. The Mental Health Team then carry out an assessment within 48 hours of admission on the First Night Centre. Health Care Forums are held to give prisoners the opportunity to influence the future shape of health care at Styal and to enable them to contribute to healthcare delivery.

Drugs Strategy

Lifeline Project provide the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service (DARS) at Styal, offering confidential support to all women who have experienced problems with either drugs or alcohol.  Lifeline DARS offers a large menu of options at Styal including 1:1 work, mutual aid groups (NA,AA and SMART Recovery) and group work sessions which cover a wide range of topics including drug awareness sessions, motivation to change and relapse prevention.

In addition there are 5 programs on offer and a Recovery House, REACH. REACH is a recovery environment and community house, for women who are on their own journey to recovery from drugs and alcohol. The aim is to boost self-esteem and focus on the motivation and strengths of individuals. It is a full time 8 week programme which includes not only structured interventions but also alternative therapies, gym sessions, gardening sessions, group counselling and psychodrama.

Lifeline DARS can also offer advice and support to the family members of our service users through telephone or face to face meetings, as well as support for service users 12 weeks post release to support them in engaging with community support services. Lifeline DARS works very closely with the Clinical Substance Misuse service provided by Spectrum, to support our service users in any clinical treatment for their substance misuse. This includes a detox support group and joint clinics in order to support service users to complete detoxification from illicit drugs and also prescribed substitute medication.

The service has very close links with community substance misuse services across the North West and North Wales, and can refer into any substance misuse service in the country as required. Women can refer into Lifeline DARS at any point during their sentence, and all treatment packages are completely individualised.


Styal is proactive in supporting families to maintain contact. Mothers with children up to the age of 18 months may be eligible to live in a dedicated Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), and take part in programmes to support the development of their child. Admission onto the unit is by prior application and vetting supported by a multi-agency admission board. The MBU is run by the Action for Children Charity. Phoneix Futures are very active within the prison, identifying and  providing  support to the women with family issues. They asset with tea bar at visits, as well as activities for children. Mothers with older children will be encouraged to keep contact through special events and family /Lifer days. Mediation helps with problems with wider family relationships.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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