Verne IRC information

The Verne

The Verne is an Immigration Removal Centre, operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service on behalf of the Home Office, housing 580 Immigration Detainees whilst their cases are assessed by Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

The Verne is situated in a Victorian Citadel, which was designed by Captain William Crossman R.E and built by convicts from Portland Prison; between 1860 and 1872.

It was a 50 acre fortress for 1000 troops with gun emplacements facing seawards on three sides. In 1888, the permanent armament consisted of 9 fixed and 10 mobile artillery pieces.

From 1903 the citadel was used as an infantry barracks and the guns were removed in 1906, though their emplacements remain to this day.

Many regiments of the line served at The Verne. They are listed on a tablet in St. Peters Church, Portland.

After 1937 The Verne was mainly used as an infantry training centre. The last military personnel at The Verne, appropriately in view of its designer, were men of the Royal Engineers who left in 1948.

On the 1st of February 1949, The Verne was handed over to the Prison Commission and an advance party of 20 prisoners arrived. Since then the interior of the citadel has been substantially rebuilt by prison labour.

The Verne developed to become a modern, medium security prison for 607 men, with a considerable training programme for medium and long term ‘Category C’ prisoners.

In September 2013, the Justice Secretary announced that HMP The Verne would change function to become an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). The Centre provides a duty of care to Detainees, by offering a safe and secure environment and through the provision of a multitude of activity, education and communication with the outside world. 

IRC The Verne,
Dorset, DT5 1EQ

Tel: 01305 825000
Business Fax (Non-Detainee Related Correspondence): 01305 825001
Home Office Fax (Detainee-related Enquiries):
0870 3369 487
Detainee Fax Number (To Send Correspondence Direct to Detainees):
01305 825196

Centre Manager:
David Bourne

HM Prison Service


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