HM Prison Prescoed
|Security class||Adult Male/Category D|
|Population||178 (as of August 2008)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Prescoed at justice.gov.uk|
HM Prison Prescoed is a Category D men's open prison, located three miles from Usk in Monmouthshire, South Wales. Prescoed is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service, and acts as a satellite prison of the nearby HMP Usk.
Prescoed has been re-purposed multiple times since its construction by prisoner labour in 1939. From 1939 to 1964, it was an open borstal. From 1964 to 1983, it was a Detention Centre. It spent five years thereafter as an open Youth Custody Centre before, in 1988, becoming an open Young Offender Institution. By 2000, it was transformed into an adult open prison.
In July 2003, Prescoed Prison (along with HMP Usk) was listed by the Prison Service as one of the top five performing Prisons in England and Wales, the first time that prisons had been ranked in a published league table.
In 2004 Prescoed started to hold a number of convicted sex offenders who had been transferred from HMP Usk. There was considerable opposition to this from local residents, who feared that such inmates may abscond from the open jail and pose a threat to local children. Following this, there were a number of incidents of convicted sex offenders absconding from Prescoed. The prison no longer holds sex offenders.
In August 2008, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons stated that although there had been "dips in performance", Prescoed and Usk prisons retained good standards. Among features of the prison praised by the report were cleanliness, safety, race equality work and interrelations between staff and prisoners. Also found to be good were the education and training provisions for inmates at both sites. However the report found that staff were not "sufficiently trained", though resettlement projects for inmates at Prescoed were said to be run "reasonably well".
The prison today
Prescoed is an open prison, accommodating Category D adult males. Inmates are normally transferred to Prescoed from other jails (usually HMP Usk), to serve out the latter parts of their sentences, and re-integrate back into the community before release. Accommodation at the prison is divided into at least 10 purpose-built living units, some with single rooms, rest being doubles where each prisoner usually has his own room key.
All prisoners are interviewed by the Learning and Skills Department of the prison in their first week at Prescoed. A range of education is offered to inmates on a full-time and part-time basis. Vocational training is also offered at Prescoed through work placements. Many inmates work on the prison's farm, which has 120 dairy cattle plus young stock, along with a small herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle. There is also a sawmill, from which wood products, sourced from a 160-acre (0.65 km2) woodland, are being developed by prisoners and staff.
- "League table shames worst prisons". bbc.co.uk. 24 July 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Sex offenders at open jail opposed". bbc.co.uk. 13 October 2004. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Fourth prisoner missing from jail". bbc.co.uk. 5 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Mixed findings in jail inspection". bbc.co.uk. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-01.