HMP The Verne

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HMP The Verne is a Category C male training prison, situated at The Verne Citadel at the head of the Isle Of Portland, Dorset.

The citadel was designed by Captain William Crossman R.E. and built by convicts from the nearby Portland Prison; between 1860 and 1872. The Verne was mainly used as an infantry training centre and housed the Royal Engineers until 1948.

On the 1st of February 1949, The Verne was handed over to the Prison Commission. Since, the interior of the citadel has been substantially rebuilt by prison labour and developed to become a modern, medium security prison for 580 men, with a considerable training programme for medium and long term sentenced prisoners.

In September 2013, the Justice Secretary announced that HMP The Verne would change function to become an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). The Centre provided a duty of care to Immigration Detainees; those awaiting removal from this country, on behalf of the Home Office. The Verne served as a contractor to the Home Office for 4 years, until it was announced in October 2017 that The Verne would return to the Public Sector Prison estate. The prison reopened in July 2018.


HMP The Verne
Verne Common Road

Tel: 01305 825000

Governor: David Bourne

Deputy Governor: Andrew Tanner

Operational Capacity: 580

Reception Criteria

HMP The Verne is a Category C Training Prison for Men Convicted Of Sexual Offences (MCOSOs).

The Verne will accept men over the age of 18 years, who have fully completed the Sexual Offences Treatment Programme (SOTP) and other relevant intervention courses necessary to their rehabilitation, as determined by their Sentence Plan. Receptions must have more than 12 months left on their sentence tariff.


The Verne’s residential structure consists of three standard residential buildings, a dormitory unit and a specialist Care & Separation Unit (CSU).

Each residential building is divided into two units, giving a total of six separate Residential Units (named Arne, Abbotsbury, Bincombe, Blandford, Corfe and Chesil), each with eighty rooms spread across their second and third floors. New receptions are accommodated on Corfe, whilst they undergo an induction programme to fully integrate them into our community.

The ground floor of each Residential Unit consists of an Association Room for Resident association, a Dining Area for each daily meal, office spaces and a communal foyer.

The Dormitories (named Dorset Unit) consists of nine ground floor dormitories and is largely utilised to house Residents with mobility issues or other social care needs.

Residents retain the key to their own rooms and have access to recesses, for toilet, washing and showering needs, on each landing.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


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