Category B prisons UK

Category B prisons UK

Category B prisons UK, In the UK, prisons are classified into different categories based on the security level they provide and the type of inmates they house. Category B prisons, also known as ‘local prisons’, play a crucial role in the UK’s penal system. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of Category B prisons in the UK, including a list of all such facilities across the country.

Understanding Category B Prisons

Category B prisons are one step down from the maximum security Category A prisons. They are designed to hold prisoners who do not require maximum security but for whom escape still needs to be made very difficult. This includes those who may be a threat to the public, the police, or national security if they were to escape.

Characteristics of Category B Prisons

Category B prisons have a strong perimeter barrier and robust security measures. However, they allow more freedom of movement for prisoners than Category A prisons. These facilities focus on rehabilitation, offering various educational and vocational programs to prepare inmates for their eventual reintegration into society.

Category B prisons UK

Category B prisons UK

List of Category B Prisons in the UK

Here is a list of Category B prisons across the UK, each with its unique attributes and rehabilitation programs:

  1. HMP Birmingham (West Midlands): A Victorian-era prison offering various educational and work opportunities to its inmates.

  2. HMP Bristol (South West England): Known for its focus on reducing reoffending through a range of interventions and support services.

  3. HMP Brixton (London): One of the oldest prisons in the UK, providing a variety of training and rehabilitation programs.

  4. HMP Doncaster (South Yorkshire): A modern facility with a strong emphasis on education and skill development.

  5. HMP Leicester (East Midlands): A local prison with a rich history, offering various rehabilitation and resettlement services.

  6. HMP Manchester (Strangeways): A high-profile prison with extensive rehabilitation and educational programs.

  7. HMP Nottingham (East Midlands): Focuses on providing a safe and constructive environment for inmates, with a range of educational courses.

  8. HMP Pentonville (London): Known for its vocational training opportunities and resettlement services.

  9. HMP Winchester (Hampshire): Offers a wide range of educational, training, and work opportunities to aid in the rehabilitation of its inmates.

  10. HMP Woodhill (Milton Keynes): Houses both Category A and B prisoners, with a focus on reducing reoffending through various programs.

  11. HMP Wormwood Scrubs (London): A historic prison with a strong focus on education and skill development.

  12. HMP Cardiff (Wales): Provides a range of interventions to address offending behaviour and support rehabilitation.

  13. HMP Swansea (Wales): Known for its efforts in preparing prisoners for successful reintegration into society.

  14. HMP Edinburgh (Scotland): Also known as Saughton Prison, it offers various educational and work opportunities.

  15. HMP Barlinnie (Glasgow, Scotland): Scotland’s largest prison, focusing on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending.

  16. HMP Maghaberry (Northern Ireland): A high-security prison with a range of educational and vocational training programs.

  17. HMP Magilligan (Northern Ireland): Focuses on resettlement and rehabilitation, offering a variety of skill development opportunities.

Rehabilitation and Support in Category B Prisons

Category B prisons in the UK are committed to the rehabilitation of inmates. They provide various programs, including education, vocational training, work placements, and psychological interventions. These initiatives aim to equip prisoners with the skills and mindset needed for a positive return to society.


Category B prisons are a vital part of the UK’s justice system, balancing the need for security with the goal of rehabilitation. By providing inmates with the necessary support and opportunities, these institutions play a crucial role in reducing reoffending and aiding the successful reintegration of prisoners into the community. Understanding the role and function of Category B prisons is essential for recognising their contribution to a safer and more just society.