HMP Exeter: An In-Depth Look at This Historical Prison

HMP Exeter, located in Devon, is a Category B local and resettlement prison housing male inmates. It serves courts from Devon, Cornwall, and West Somerset, and has a capacity of 412 prisoners. Built in 1853, the prison has a long history and has seen numerous changes over the years.


HMP Exeter

History of HMP Exeter

HMP Exeter’s origins can be traced back to the 12th century. The current structure, designed by John Hayward, was constructed in 1853 and is based on the Pentonville model, which emphasizes solitary confinement and rehabilitation through silence and hard work​​​​. Over the years, the prison has been the site of several notable events, including the failed execution of John Babbacombe Lee and multiple escapes​​.


Latest News and Developments

HMP Exeter has recently been under scrutiny for its high levels of violence and self-harm. In May 2018, it was placed under an urgent notification protocol due to poor conditions, including drug use, assaults, and inadequate care for vulnerable inmates​​​​. The government has since implemented measures to improve safety, including additional staff and mental health training​​.

General Information about HMP Exeter

HMP Exeter is a Category B prison, meaning it houses inmates who do not require maximum security but are still considered to pose a significant risk. The prison has a capacity of 412 and accommodates both adult and young male offenders​​​​.

Prison Facilities and Programs

The prison offers various facilities and programs to aid in the rehabilitation of inmates. These include:

  • Educational Courses: Provided by Strode College, covering subjects like numeracy, IT, and vocational skills​​.
  • Healthcare Services: Includes GP services, mental healthcare, dentistry, and nurse-led clinics​​.
  • Recreational Facilities: A sports hall, weights room, and multi-gym are available, along with PE sessions in various sports​​.

Capacity and Categorisation

HMP Exeter has a capacity of 412 inmates. It houses Category B prisoners, which includes those who require medium security. The prison serves male adults and young offenders from courts in Devon, Cornwall, and West Somerset​​​​.

Location of HMP Exeter

HMP Exeter is situated on New North Road in Exeter, Devon. Its central location makes it accessible for visitors and staff alike

FAQs About HMP Exeter

  1. What is the capacity of HMP Exeter? HMP Exeter has a capacity of 412 inmates​​.

  2. What category of prisoners does HMP Exeter hold? HMP Exeter is a Category B prison, housing male adults and young offenders​​.

  3. Where is HMP Exeter located? HMP Exeter is located on New North Road, Exeter, Devon​​.

  4. What facilities are available for inmates at HMP Exeter? The prison offers educational courses, healthcare services, and recreational facilities​​.

  5. What measures have been taken to improve safety at HMP Exeter? Recent measures include additional staff, mental health training, and improved monitoring systems​​​​.

  6. What historical events is HMP Exeter known for? Notable events include the failed execution of John Babbacombe Lee and several escapes​​.

  7. What educational programs are offered at HMP Exeter? Courses cover subjects like numeracy, IT, and vocational skills, provided by Strode College​​.

  8. How can I send money to an inmate at HMP Exeter? Money can be sent using the online service provided by the prison​​.

  9. What is the process for booking a visit to HMP Exeter? Visits can be booked online, by email, or by phone​​.

  10. What are the visiting hours at HMP Exeter? Visiting hours vary; it is best to contact the prison directly for the most accurate information​​.

Summary and Conclusion

HMP Exeter, a Category B male prison in Devon, has a rich history and a commitment to rehabilitation despite recent challenges. With its range of educational and healthcare facilities, the prison aims to provide inmates with the tools they need for successful reintegration into society. Ongoing improvements are being made to ensure the safety and well-being of all prisoners.

For more information, you can visit our other prison pages such as HMP Erlestoke