HM Prison Deerbolt

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HMP/YOI Deerbolt
Location Startforth, County Durham
Security class Juveniles/Young Offenders
Population 453 (as of August 2008)
Opened 1973
Managed by HM Prison Services
Governor Jenny Mooney
Website Deerbold at

HM Prison Deerbolt is a male juveniles' prison and Young Offenders Institution located in the Village of Startforth (near Barnard Castle), in County Durham, England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


Deerbolt prison opened in 1973, on the site of a former army camp.

In 1999 four inmates escaped from Deerbolt while with an outside working party.[1] A year later a report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons stated that Deerbolt was dangerously overcrowded, with too many inmates and too few resources.[2]

There was a major disturbance at the prison in February 2005 involving six inmates who caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the prison chapel. There was another large disturbance at the prison the following June.[3]

Deerbolt Prison was praised by inspectors in 2005 for improving activity and resettlement services but was criticised for inmates spending too much time in their cells.[4]

In 2007 prison officers passed a vote of no confidence in the then governor Deborah Baldwin after A wing at Deerbolt Prison was taken over by inmates in a five-hour riot. Four prison officers were injured at the premises during the disturbance.[5]

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons assessment of the prison in June 2011 was that it was fundamentally safe, but work was required to reduce levels of violence and improve discipline. It was noted that the prison had a "challenging population", but staff had worked hard to make improvements since 2007.[6]

The prison today[edit]

Deerbolt is a Category C Training Prison and caters for approximately 500 prisoners between the ages of 18 – 21, generally serving sentences up to 4 years in length from the North East of England and Humberside area.

The Education department at the prison is run by The Manchester College, and offers both full and part-time classes in a variety of subjects. Courses include music, art, drama, creative writing, geography, history, maths and information technology. Workshop jobs are available to prisoners who have first completed a qualification in basic literacy or numeracy, completed a manual handling course and have done a first aid qualification. Courses include catering, office skills, building computers, bricklaying, plastering, charity workshop, furniture craft, multiskills, Painting and Decorating, motor mechanics and fork lift truck driving.

Deerbolt prison's gym also offers physical education qualifications, as well as being available for recreational use. Other facilities and services at the prison include a library and a prison chaplaincy.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°32′33″N 1°56′17″W / 54.542626°N 1.938142°W / 54.542626; -1.938142