HM Prison Liverpool
|Security class||Adult Male/Local|
|Population||1184 (as of May 2009)|
|Website||Liverpool at justice.gov.uk|
HM Prison Liverpool (formerly Walton Gaol) is a category B/C local men's prison, located in the Walton area of Liverpool in England. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. It originally housed male and female inmates.
Liverpool Prison (originally known as Walton Gaol) was constructed between 1848 and 1855 to the designs of John Grey Weightman to replace an 18th-century establishment in the centre of Liverpool, which had become too small for current needs.
On 4 February 1939 the IRA attempted, but failed, to break a wall of the prison during the S-Plan bombing campaign in Britain that year.
During the Liverpool Blitz of World War II, on 18 September 1940, German high explosive bombs falling on a wing of the prison partially demolished it, killing 22 inmates. The body of one was not found until 11 years later when rubble was finally cleared.
The prison was the site of 62 judicial executions, from 1887 to 1964. The last execution at the prison was that of Peter Anthony Allen. He and his accomplice Gwynne Owen Evans were convicted for the murder of John Alan West in April 1964. They were simultaneously hanged on 13 August 1964; Allen was hanged at Walton Gaol, and Evans at Strangeways in Manchester.
In May 2003 an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons severely criticised Liverpool Prison for its overcrowding and poor industrial relations which had led to an unacceptable regime. The inspection found that parts of the jail were generally unclean, had cockroach infestations and broken windows. Inmates were able to shower and change their clothes just once a week at the prison.
A further inspection report in February 2010, stated that drugs, bullying and violence were still prevalent at Liverpool Prison, despite the jail improving in other areas. Days later, it emerged that the Prison Service had refunded nearly £10,000 to inmates at HMP Liverpool, who were being overcharged for watching television in their cells. The prison was charging £1 per prisoner per week instead of per cell, meaning that inmates who were sharing a cell were paying more than they needed to.
In January 2015 three prison officers were hospitalised after being attacked by prisoners.
The prison today
Liverpool is a local prison for remand and sentenced adult males in the Merseyside catchment area. The prison has eight wings, all of which have been refurbished to include integral sanitation. As of May 2009, its population was 1,184, one of the largest in the UK, but smaller than a peak population of 1,443 in 2008.
The current Governor Peter Francis has been labelled a 'questionable leader' and 'lacking in credibility' in recent reports by H.M.I Prisons.
Liverpool Prison offers education and training courses, provided by Novus as well as workshops and programmes organised by the prison's Psychology Department. The establishment houses a hugely successful in cell radio programme 'Walton Radio', offering prisoners radio production qualifications, music technology qualifications, along with emphases on rehabilitation through employability upskilling. A Listener Scheme, supported by the Samaritans, operates for prisoners who are at risk from suicide or self-harm. There is a resettlement unit at HMP Liverpool which comprises a Citizens' Advice Unit, Connexions and Job Centre Plus. All healthcare services at Liverpool Prison are commissioned through Liverpool Primary Care Trust. A new all-purpose 28-bed inpatient and primary care service was opened in summer 2007.
Notable former inmates
- Akinwale Arobieke
- Joey Barton
- Fenner Brockway, Baron Brockway
- Charles Bronson
- Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton
- Henry Tibbs
- Robert Tressell
- Mark Ward
- Walton prison, Liverpool. capitalpunishmentuk.org.
- Historic England, "Walton Prison Entrance Gatehouse (1207673)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 3 March 2017
- Whittington-Egan, Richard (1987). The Great Liverpool Blitz. The Gallery Press (Liverpool Dossier Series). p. 34. ISBN 0-900389-27-3.
- "UK | UK's largest prison 'unacceptable'". BBC News. 2003-05-28. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- "Progress at HMP Liverpool 'has stalled' says watchdog". BBC News. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- "Inmates were overcharged for cell TVs at HMP Liverpool". BBC News. 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- Tassell, Nige (2015-04-24). "They think it’s all over: ex-footballers on life after the final whistle". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-21.