HM Prison Chelmsford
|Security class||Adult Male/Young Offenders Institution|
|Population||695 (as of December 2007)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Chelmsford at justice.gov.uk|
Chelmsford Prison began as a county jail in 1830 before transforming into a Category B prison, a young person's prison, and a local prison. It was expanded in 1996.
In 1999 the management at Chelmsford Prison were severely criticised by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, after findings that staff were failing to respond to cell alarms five years after a prisoner was beaten to death by his cell-mate. The prison was also criticised for unacceptably bad conditions of cleanliness. A further inspection a year later confirmed these failings at the prison. In 2002, "conditions at Chelmsford...[were] condemned as 'poor and cramped' by the gaol's board of visitors."
However in 2005, Chelmsford was praised in its inspection for improving standards and procedures for inmates at the prison. This was confirmed a year later by the Independent Monitoring Board which praised the new management at the prison.
On 25 December 2007, 18-year old Abdullah Hagar Idris hanged himself in the prison after he was told that he was going to be deported.
The prison today
Chelmsford Prison accepts adult male prisoners and Young Offenders, convicted or on remand direct from courts within its local catchment area.
Education at the prison is contracted to Milton Keynes College, and courses offered include literacy, numeracy, information technology, art, barbering, journalism, cookery, ESOL as well as social and life programs. The prison's gym also offers physical education with industry related qualifications, as well as recreational gym.
In addition the prison has links to, and facilities provided by, organisations such as the Job Centre and the Samaritans. There is also a Prison Visitor Centre operated by the Ormiston Children and Families Trust.
Notable former inmates
In popular culture
- The 1979 film Porridge (a film version of the Porridge TV series) was filmed almost entirely on location at Chelmsford Prison.
- The punk rock band The Sex Pistols recorded a live album here called Live at Chelmsford Top Security Prison.
- "UK | Lessons not learnt at 'dreadful' jail". BBC News. 1999-03-09. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- "UK | Inspectors condemn 'sick' prison". BBC News. 2000-11-15. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- "UK | England | Visitors board criticises prison conditions". BBC News. 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- "UK | England | Essex | Inspector praises improving jail". BBC News. 2005-01-13. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- "UK | England | Essex | Praise for work to improve prison". BBC News. 2006-01-30. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- "Criticism over death of teenager at Chelmsford prison." BBC. Wednesday 2 June 2010. Retrieved on 3 June 2010.
- Danny Shaw (2013-01-10). "BBC News - Seven prison closures in England announced". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- "Live at Chelmsford Top Security Prison: The Sex Pistols: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.