HM Prison Thorn Cross

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HMP Thorn Cross
LocationAppleton Thorn, Cheshire
Security classAdult Male Institution
Population381 (as of August 2017)
Managed byHM Prison Services
GovernorDan Cooper
WebsiteThorn Cross at

HM Prison Thorn Cross is a Category D Adult Male Institution for males aged 21+. The prison is located in the village of Appleton Thorn (near Warrington) in Cheshire, England. Thorn Cross is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


Thorn Cross Prison opened in 1985, on the site of the former RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap) airfield. Thorn Cross was initially used as an open prison for adult males. In 1996, the prison was re-rolled as a Young Offenders Institution. At the time, Thorn Cross was the first such institution in the United Kingdom to enforce military-style disciplinary regime for some of its inmates, which led to a part of the prison (unit 5) being labelled a boot camp.[1]

In January 1999, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons labelled Thorn Cross Prison as an inspirational example of good practice. In particular the report praised the prison's High Intensity Training (HIT) project, and recommended it be rolled out to other prisons.[1]

In October 2005, a further inspection report highly praised Thorn Cross Prison, again highlighting the prisons HIT program. The report also noted that Thorn Cross managed to reduce re-offending amongst its ex-inmates to just over 20 per cent, one of the best rates in the country. The report added that the prison had to do more to improve relations with the local community however.[2]

Present day[edit]

HM Prison Thorn Cross is a Category D Adult Male Institution for males aged 21+. Accommodation consists of single rooms, each prisoner having his own room key.

Education and training courses offered at the prison include Construction Crafts, Motor Vehicles, Horticulture, Hospitality and Catering and Rail Construction (NVQ Level 2). Thorn Cross has a number of partnerships with national and local employers, offering opportunities for work placements prior to and on release.


  1. ^ a b 'Boot camp' name change call, BBC News, 12 January 1999, retrieved 30 January 2009
  2. ^ Praise for young offender centre, BBC News, 12 October 2005, retrieved 30 January 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°21′01″N 2°32′27″W / 53.3503°N 2.5407°W / 53.3503; -2.5407