HM Prison Hewell
Category B and C buildings
from Hewell Grange Farm
|Security class||Adult Male, Categories B, C and D|
|Population||1431 (as of June 2008)|
|Former name||HMPs Blakenhurst, Brockhill and Hewell Grange|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Hewell at justice.gov.uk|
Hewell Prison is on the site of the Hewell Grange country house and estate, the former seat of the Earls of Plymouth and has open days for its park and garden. The estate was sold to the government c.1945 and in 1946 the main house was used as a Borstal.
Over the years two other purpose-built prisons were built and opened on the estate: HMP Blakenhurst and HMP Brockhill, to hold other categories of prisoner, with enlargements. The Borstal itself was reclassified in 1991 to a Category D open prison, and renamed HMP Hewell Grange. The new 650-bed prison was operated by UK Detention Services, a partnership between Mowlem, Sir Robert McAlpine and Corrections Corporation of America.
In January 2008, the Prison Service announced that the three prisons would merge to be managed by a single team. Its provisional name for public consultation was 'HMP Redditch', however local residents objected and in March 2008 it was decided to rename the site HMP Hewell. HMP Hewell was formally created on 25 June 2008, and is the first in an efficiency drive involving the creation of new Titan prisons in the United Kingdom.
In July 2017 Tornado squads were brought in from outside to deal with a prison riot in Cell House Block 6, A-spur; the 'B' section. The riot was instigated following the commencement of a phased smoking ban, of which House Block 6 was the first to have the ban imposed; overcrowding, living conditions, unexplained lock-downs and lack of prison officer staff were all contributing factors. The rioters damaged water pipework, the CCTV system, and numerous cells were severely damaged. The trouble was confined to one area of the prison, that was back in the control of the prison officers within a few hours. The wing where the riot took place was deemed unfit for occupation due to the damage caused, and inmates housed in that area were either moved to other prisons or relocated to other cell blocks within Hewell. It took several weeks for the area to be brought back into use, following extensive renovations and works to repair the damage caused. 
The prison today
Hewell is a multiple security category prison for adult males. Category B, Category C and Category D prisoners are housed in different sites. The prison primarily serves the Worcestershire, West Midlands and Warwickshire catchment area. Accommodation at the prison is divided into 8 house blocks, 7 of which have single or double occupancy cells, and 1 house block which has dormitory accommodation.
Category B & C prisoners are employed in workshops providing Construction Industry Training, double glazing manufacture, industrial cleaning, waste management, laundry and contract services. Education offered includes ICT courses, ESOL, basic literacy and numeracy, art and cookery classes.
Category D prisoners also have access to external college courses, Open University distant learning, as well as a range of ICT, literacy and numeracy courses. Employment is provided throughout the estate including:
- Full-time employment via a Resettlement to Work Scheme.
In January 2017 an inspection report described Hewell as “a prison with many challenges and areas of serious concern”. Prison inspector, Peter Clarke said, the “main concerns at the closed site were regarding issues of safety and respect”. Clarke said levels of violence were “far too high”, he described communal areas as “dirty” and claimed many cells were over-crowded, with some, “filthy”. 60% said getting drugs was easy, a quarter of prisoners felt unsafe, and self harm had increased.
Notable former inmates
- David Fairclough, lorry driver jailed for three months for dangerous driving in connection with the 1997 M42 motorway crash
- Hewell Grange Park and Garden - Grade II* - Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1000886)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- McDonald, Douglas C. (1994). "PUBLIC IMPRISONMENT BY PRIVATE MEANS: The Re-emergence of Private Prisons and Jails in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia". The British Journal of Criminology. 34: 29–48. JSTOR 23638186. (Registration required (. ))
- "Prisons merge to create new jail". bbc.co.uk. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "Title change for 'super' prison". bbc.co.uk. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "Two prisons to shut in efficiency bid, MoJ says". BBC News. 13 July 2011.
- HMP Hewell unrest brought under control by prison riot squads The Guardian
- Ministry of Justice pages on Hewell
- HMP Hewell - HM Inspectorate of Prisons Reports
- Hewell Grange entry from The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses
- HMP Brockhill - HM Inspectorate of Prisons Reports