HM Prison Huntercombe
|Security class||Adult Male/Category C|
|Population||372 (as of December 2010)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Huntercombe at justice.gov.uk|
Huntercombe was built as an Internment Camp during World War II. After the war the site opened as a prison in 1946. The site has seen renovation over the years so that very few wartime buildings remain today. Previously the prison had held adult males and was a Borstal to up to 1983, but in 2000 Huntercombe became a cellular prison for male juveniles aged 15 to 18.
An October 2002 report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons heavily criticised Huntercombe for being severely overcrowded. The report described the prison as unsafe and recommended a large reduction in prisoners being held there.
In April 2007 a report from the Independent Monitoring Board stated that Huntercombe was failing in its central purpose to rehabilitate inmates. The report also criticised the fact that prisoners with serious mental health conditions were being sent to Huntercombe despite the fact that the prison did not have the facilities to treat them. However the report praised staff at Huntercombe and the prison's approach to race relations.
In June 2010, Huntercombe was decommissioned as a juvenile prison due to a national decrease in Juvenile offender numbers. The prison was reopened in October 2010 as a Category C jail for up to 400 adult males and now holds a solely foreign-national population mainly awaiting deportation.
The prison today
The prison's purpose-built sports complex comprises a sports hall with climbing wall, a cardiovascular fitness room, and an astroturf pitch. Huntercombe's chaplaincy comprises one full-time Chaplain, and access to a range of ministers representing different faiths.
Huntercombe has a visitors centre, located outside the main gate of the prison. The visits room has a small children's play area, toilets and nappy changing facilities. Refreshments are available through the WRVS canteen at weekends and vending machines during the week.
- "UK | England | Youth prison 'unsafe and overcrowded'". BBC News. 2002-10-16. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- "Home". BBC News. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- "BBC News - Huntercombe youth jail becomes adult prison". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-04-12.