Regime information for Chelmsford Prison

The regime has a focus on increasing employability and includes:

  • Education and Vocational Training, which is provided by A4e under OLASS 4.  The programme includes Functional English and Maths, ESOL, ICT, Art, a range of Social and Life Skills and Vocational Training in Cleaning and various aspects of Construction and Maintenance.

All courses offer national recognised qualifications.

  • Work places in Gardens, Recycling, Laundry, Kitchen and Maintenance.  Domestic work and a Multi Activity Workshop that is under further development.  Most work areas offer accredited work place training.
  • A PICTA workshop that delivers training towards IT qualifications, including Microsoft Office Specialist.
  • A Gymnasium that offers recreational gym and a wide range of courses leading to industry related qualifications. 
  • The Toe by Toe reading scheme, where trained peer mentors work with other prisoners on the wings and elsewhere to help them to improve their reading skills. 
  • Outreach support from peripatetic tutors who visit the wings and workshops to support learning. 
  • The Virtual Campus which provides access to learning and job search resources and information on job vacancies in the community. 
  • The Library which provides Storybook Dad sessions and Storytime Learning workshops, in addition to a wide range of books, information and reference material and computers for study purposes.

Every prisoner has an initial screening for English and Maths on day two of entering the prison and a one to one interview with TRIBAL staff who provide the National Careers Service.

There is a Samaritans supported Listener Scheme in place for prisoners who are in distress or who need to talk in confidence, in addition to an Insiders Scheme to assist prisoners through the first few days in prison.

The prison has an established Reducing Reoffending agenda with a purpose built Resettlement Centre, housing and facilitating a variety of interventions and activities to help with resettlement.  Specialist organisations are based within the prison, forming part of the Reducing Reoffending agenda, to actively engage prisoners with all elements of resettlement. These include Nacro, Seetec, The Job Centre Plus, Ormiston Children and Families Trust, Inside Out.

Interventions range from money and debt guidance, help to open a bank account, drug & alcohol interventions, multi-agency resettlement and pre-release clinics, job clubs to developing ties with prisoners and their children through Story Time Learning and children’s visits initiatives.

Partnerships are also held with external companies, helping to drive education and employment opportunities in preparation for release.

The Offender Management Unit is central to the Reducing Reoffending agenda, by assessing risks and identifying needs, to ensure appropriate interventions/activities are allocated and sequenced in the most effective manner to help reduce the risk of reoffending.

Safer Custody Helpline 

The Safer Custody Helpline is an answer machine service that can be used by prisoners or their families to report bullying or to report concerns about self harm or suicide or any other Safer Custody issue.

  • Prisoners: To leave a message on the Safer Custody Helpline – use this special PIN:– 87872946 and then dial:– 01245 552297

  • Families: Families can use this service too, by dialling:- 01245 552297 and leaving a message, including your name, the prisoners name and a return contact number and brief details of why they are concerned.

The answer machine is checked everyday and all messages will be followed up accordingly.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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