HM Prison Woodhill
|Location||Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire|
|Security class||Closed prison|
|Population||819 (as of March 2008)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Woodhill at justice.gov.uk|
HM Prison Woodhill is a Category A male prison, located in Milton Keynes, England. Woodhill Prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. There is a Young Offenders Institution adjacent to the prison.
One of its main roles is that of a local prison serving Crown and Magistrates' Courts. The prison holds remand and sentenced prisoners aged 18 and above. In addition, Woodhill is one of the eight national high security prisons, holding Category A prisoners, some in the "Close Supervision Centre".
Woodhill Prison opened in 1992, with a further unit added to the complex in 1996. In 1998, one wing of the prison was re-designated as a "Close Supervision Centre" for prisoners who are amongst the most difficult and disruptive in the prison system. Two years later, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons criticised conditions in the Close Supervision Centre, stating that inmates being held there were being deprived of mental stimulation and human contact.
A further inspection report in February 2003, stated that there were too few prison staff at Woodhill. The report also highlighted the prison's suicide monitoring as an area that needed improvement. However the staff at the gaol were praised for maintaining a positive attitude.
In February 2006, another inspection report from the Chief Inspector of Prisons criticised Woodhill Prison for poorly supporting at-risk prisoners and failing to bring in anti-bullying measures. The report also stated that staff in charge of youths held in the prison had not been trained or vetted to work with them.
The prison today
Woodhill is a category A prison for male adults, with an adjacent unit for young offenders. The prison holds both convicted prisoners and remand prisoners for local magistrate courts along with foreign nationals awaiting deportation.
The regime at Woodhill includes full-time and part-time classes. Other features include a job club, and listener schemes. Woodhill also has a multi-faith full-time chaplaincy. There is a visitor's centre at the prison, run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust.
There were seventeen suicides at Woodhill Prison since 2013. This is the highest suicide rate of any prison in the UK. Staff shortages and the complexity of the prison are blamed.
- Annual report of the independent monitoring board, 2009–2010
- "Britain's own Alcatraz opens". BBC News. 8 February 1998. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "'Alcatraz' prison conditions criticised". BBC News. 22 March 2000. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "'Too few' staff at prison". BBC News. 19 February 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "Watchdog condemns suicides prison". BBC News. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- Woodhill prison’s suicide epidemic is by far the worst in the UK - but it’s not the governor’s fault, says expert – Milton Keynes Citizen, 28 November 2016