Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Immediate action to improve HMP Woodhill [September 2023]

The press release issued by the Ministry of Justice on 29 September 2023.

HMP Woodhill will take urgent action to improve safety, security and living conditions including specialist psychological staff to support prisoners at risk of self-harm.

  • Ministers outline Action Plan to drive immediate improvements at HMP Woodhill
  • Extra prison staff and training to bolster prison safety and security
  • Prison conditions to be assessed and works carried out to improve living conditions

Today’s announcement (29 September 2023) follows a critical inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) last month which identified serious concerns resulting in an Urgent Notification.

As part of the Urgent Notification process, Ministers have 28 days to respond, setting out what immediate action is required to improve the running of this prison.

Extra prison staff will be deployed and the population temporarily reduced to bolster the safety and security of HMP Woodhill, with all staff given fresh training on how to tackle prisoner violence.

A prison-wide cell condition survey is underway to identify necessary repairs and industrial-grade cleaning will be carried out across the prison to improve the standard of living conditions.

An Education, Skills and Work Manager will be hired to improve prison education and enhance the quality of time that prisoners spend outside their cell.

Prisons Minister Damian Hinds said:

The findings at HMP Woodhill were incredibly serious which is why I am taking the necessary action to order immediate improvements.

Extra safety staff, specialised mental health support and appropriate living conditions will ensure that offenders have the support they need to turn their backs on crime and live law-abiding lives on release.

The government introduced the Urgent Notification process in 2017 to ensure immediate, urgent action was taken when necessary to address serious concerns identified by inspectors.