HMP Gartree is a Category B men’s prison located in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England. Managed by HM Prison Services, it was first opened in 1965. Initially a Category C training centre, it was upgraded to a maximum security prison and later downgraded to a Category B training prison in 1992. Currently, it primarily houses long-term prisoners, many serving life sentences, with a population of 640 as of August 2020.
The prison is situated on the site of the former RAF Market Harborough and is infamous for a daring helicopter escape in 1987, the only one of its kind in the UK. This incident led to a significant tightening of security.
Life Inside HMP Gartree
Life at HMP Gartree involves a mix of work and education for inmates. Most prisoners are employed in prison workshops or in the prison gardens. There’s a small learning department providing education, including offending behaviour programmes. The prison has faced criticism for issues such as staff shortages, budget cuts, and racial discrimination. In response to the high number of older inmates, a scheme supported by Age Concern was launched in 2004 to assist older prisoners.
Directions to HMP Gartree
For public transport, visitors can use the bus service from Market Harborough. The number 44 bus runs Monday to Saturday and connects the train station to the prison. For car travel, visitors can take the M1, exit at junction 20, and follow the A427 towards Market Harborough. Parking is available on site. On weekends, the prison provides a free taxi service from Market Harborough railway station, which needs to be booked in advance.
Booking a Visit to HMP Gartree
Visits are held on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 14:00 to 16:00. Bookings can be made by phone or email, with specific times for phone bookings and an online option also available. The booking process requires the prisoner’s name, number, and chosen dates and times. Visitors are advised to book in advance and follow the required procedures, including providing identification and adhering to visitation rules.
HMP Gartree Visiting Times
Visits at HMP Gartree are scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 14:00 and 16:00. The Visitor’s Centre, in partnership with PACT, a national charity, provides support for social visitors.
HMP Gartree Address, Telephone Number, and Parking
HMP Gartree’s address is within Market Harborough, Leicestershire. The prison offers parking facilities for visitors. Unfortunately, specific details like the telephone number or email address were not available in the cited sources. However, these can typically be found on the prison’s official website or through direct inquiries with HM Prison Services.