HM Prison Portland
|Location||The Grove, Portland, Dorset|
|Security class||Young Offenders Institution|
|Population||483 (as of January 2010)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Portland at justice.gov.uk|
HM Prison Portland is a male Young Offenders Institution, located in the village of The Grove on the Isle of Portland, in Dorset, England. Portland YOI prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.
The original Portland Prison opened in 1848 and held convict adults. It was from here in 1855, that 80 convicts were transported on the ship William Hammond to Western Australia. The prison also held a number of high profile Irish Republican prisoners. In 1921 Portland convict establishment was converted into a Borstal and in 1988 this was re-rolled as a Young Offenders Institution (YOI, Portland), and has held young males aged 18 to 21 ever since. St. Peter's Church, found next to the prison, was built in 1870-72 by convicts for use of the prison until it was made redundant in 1973. The Folly Pier Waterworks was built in 1855 by John Coode for the government near Folly Pier to supply the prison with water. It was closed due to an outbreak of typhoid which killed several prisoners who drank the water, and the ruins of the reservoir tanks were used as swimming pools for Borstal Boys during the late 1920s and 1930s. The ruins still exist to date.
In March 2000, an inspection report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons severely criticised conditions at Portland YOI, including foul-smelling toilets and filthy showers. There were also complaints of rats in food service areas lodged by inmates. Just over a month later, prison officials were forced to extract 26 prisoners who had for eight hours used furniture to barricade themselves away from their cells.
In November 2004, a report from the Chief Inspector of Prisons highlighted racial tension, and distrust between Muslim inmates and staff at Portland Prison. The report also criticised the fact that inmates were still slopping out, because of poor sanitation facilities at the jail.
A further report in June 2007 following an unannounced inspection heavily criticised conditions at Portland YOI. The report stated that some buildings "were unfit for purpose and lacked basic sanitation", with the continued practice of inmates without access to toilet facilities using buckets which they emptied through their windows. The report criticized other elements of the prison, including opportunities provided to prisoners for physical activity and training, but indicated that the situation was better in Portland than it had been in 2004 at the time of the last inspection.
The prison today
Portland YOI holds male young offenders aged 18 to 21. Accommodation at the prison is divided into 7 house blocks, Benbow, Raleigh, Drake, Nelson, Grenville, Collingwood, and Beaufort all of which have integral sanitation. Grenville House is an Induction Unit, Beaufort is a Skills Development Unit, Raleigh is the Resettlement wing and Collingwood a 'Super enhanced' Wing. There is also a Care and Control Unit.
The establishment offers a range of vocational training which includes, Bricklaying; Building Operatives; Painting and Decorating; Carpentry and Joinery; Fork Lift Truck; Recycling Workshop; Hard Landscaping; Barbering; Catering; Motor Mechanics; Motor Cycle Maintenance; Multi-Skills in Construction; CSCS (with card being available); BICS; Animal Welfare; Radio Production; Groundsmanship; Performing Manufacturing Operations; Steelworks and Rail Track.
The prison was also the setting for Ian Wright's Football Behind Bars television series.
In 2010, with the assistance of the prison, a community project was completed to restore the Governor's Community Garden and open it to the public. These gardens were originally attached to the prison governor's residence opposite the main entrance of the prison.
Notable former inmates
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2010)|
- "Portland, (St. Peter, The Grove)". People.bath.ac.uk. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
- Mee, Arthur (1939). Dorset: Thomas Hardy's Country. Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 186–191.
- Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland, an Illustrated History. Dorset: The Dovecote Press, Wimborne, Dorset. p. 87. ISBN 0-946159-34-3.
- "Young offenders' unit condemned". bbc.co.uk. 21 March 2000. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- "Investigation into prison siege". bbc.co.uk. 4 May 2000. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- "Young inmates are 'slopping out'". bbc.co.uk. 30 November 2004. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- "Report slams young offenders unit". bbc.co.uk. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- Hopps, David (1 February 2012). "Mohammad Amir released from jail". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 February 2012.