HMP Erlestoke: An Overview

HMP Erlestoke, located in Devizes, Wiltshire, is a Category C men’s prison with a focus on rehabilitation and training. Established in 1960, it stands on the former grounds of Erlestoke Manor House and is the only prison in Wiltshire. It serves as a resettlement and training facility, housing up to 512 inmates, many of whom are serving longer sentences.


HMP Erlestoke

A Brief History of HMP Erlestoke

HMP Erlestoke was initially used as a detention centre in 1960. By 1977, it had transitioned to a centre for young offenders before becoming a Category C adult male training prison in 1988. Over the years, it has seen various changes, including the introduction of life-sentenced prisoners in the 1990s. The prison has undergone significant improvements under different leadership, particularly in recent years, enhancing safety and inmate welfare​​​​​​.


Current Function and Facilities

Today, HMP Erlestoke is intervention-focused, offering numerous programs to address offending behaviours and support rehabilitation. The prison features eight accommodation units, including enhanced, standard, induction, and drug recovery units. Facilities available to inmates include educational and vocational training workshops, a gym, a library, and a healthcare centre. There is also a dedicated wing for those at risk of self-harm​​​​.

Life at HMP Erlestoke

Life for inmates at HMP Erlestoke involves a structured routine aimed at promoting personal development. The prison provides a variety of educational courses, vocational training, and behavioural programs designed to reduce reoffending rates. Regular access to physical exercise, religious services, and library facilities supports the holistic well-being of the inmates​​​​.

Visiting HMP Erlestoke

Visits to HMP Erlestoke can be booked online or by contacting the prison directly. Visitors are required to bring valid identification, and personal belongings such as mobile phones and bags must be stored in provided lockers. Visiting times are typically scheduled in the afternoons, with specific hours allocated on weekdays and weekends​​.

Recent Developments and News

HMP Erlestoke has been making notable progress in improving prisoner outcomes. Recent inspections highlighted significant advancements in safety, behaviour management, and support for at-risk prisoners. Despite these improvements, challenges such as drug and alcohol smuggling remain areas of concern. However, the efforts of the staff and leadership continue to steer the prison towards better standards​

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is HMP Erlestoke? HMP Erlestoke is a Category C men’s prison located in Devizes, Wiltshire, focusing on rehabilitation and training.

  2. How can I book a visit to HMP Erlestoke? Visits can be booked online through the official HM Prison Service website or by contacting the prison directly.

  3. What are the visiting times at HMP Erlestoke? Visiting times are typically from 14:30 to 16:30 on weekdays and weekends.

  4. What facilities are available for inmates at HMP Erlestoke? Facilities include educational workshops, vocational training, a gym, library, healthcare centre, and religious services.

  5. What is the capacity of HMP Erlestoke? The prison can house up to 512 inmates.

  6. What types of programs does HMP Erlestoke offer? The prison offers programs addressing offending behaviours, substance abuse, and domestic violence.

  7. Where is HMP Erlestoke located? HMP Erlestoke is located in Devizes, Wiltshire, near the village of Erlestoke.

  8. What is the history of HMP Erlestoke? Established in 1960, it has transitioned from a detention centre to a Category C training prison over the decades.

  9. Who is the current governor of HMP Erlestoke? As of recent reports, Tim Knight has been the governor since 2016.

  10. How can I contact HMP Erlestoke? The prison can be contacted by phone at 01380 814250 or through the official prison website.

Summary and Conclusion

HMP Erlestoke plays a crucial role in the UK’s prison system, focusing on the rehabilitation and resettlement of its inmates. With a history spanning over six decades, it has evolved to provide a structured environment conducive to personal development and reducing reoffending rates. Continuous efforts by the staff and leadership ensure that the prison not only meets but strives to exceed standards in prisoner care and rehabilitation. For more detailed information about HMP Erlestoke, you can visit our other prison pages such as Elmley Prison

Sources Used for Research:

  1. Wikipedia – HM Prison Erlestoke
  2. Project Telecoms – Guide to Erlestoke Prison
  3. Friends of Erlestoke Prison
  4. HM Inspectorate of Prisons
  5. Doing Time – HMP Erlestoke
  6. Prison Advice – HMP Erlestoke
  7. Prison Guide – What is Erlestoke Prison like?