HMP Hindley: Introduction

HMP Hindley is a well-known adult male prison located in Bickershaw, near Wigan in Greater Manchester, England. Established in 1961, it has undergone significant transformations, evolving from a borstal institution to a Category C prison. HMP Hindley is now focused on rehabilitation and education, offering various programs and services to its inmates.


HMP Hindley

History of HMP Hindley

HMP Hindley was inaugurated in 1961 as a borstal institution aimed at rehabilitating young offenders. In 1983, it was reclassified as a Youth Custody Centre and later transitioned to an adult prison in 1997. Throughout its history, HMP Hindley has experienced several significant events, including a security alert in 2004 and a major riot in 2005 that resulted in substantial damage​​​​.


Location and Capacity

HMP Hindley is situated in the village of Bickershaw, near Wigan, in Greater Manchester. The prison has an official capacity of 400 inmates but often accommodates around 700 prisoners​​. The facility is easily accessible via the M61 motorway, with clear directions provided for visitors​​.

Facilities and Programs

HMP Hindley offers a variety of facilities and programs designed to support the rehabilitation and education of its inmates. These include:

  • Vocational Training: Inmates can learn valuable skills in food preparation, cleaning services, automobile mechanics, woodworking, and more​​.
  • Education: Comprehensive education programs are available, allowing prisoners to improve their literacy and numeracy skills and gain qualifications in various fields such as catering, hospitality, and sports​​.
  • Mental Health Support: The prison provides extensive mental health services, including counseling and self-harm prevention initiatives. Specialized housing is available for at-risk inmates​​.
  • Rehabilitation Programs: HMP Hindley offers programs focused on reducing recidivism, such as the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) and other non-accredited courses​​.

Notable Inmates

HMP Hindley has housed several notable inmates, including Will Cornick, who was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in 2014 for the murder of his schoolteacher Ann Maguire​​. This case highlighted ongoing issues with youth rehabilitation and sparked debates around criminal justice policies.

Visiting HMP Hindley

Visitors to HMP Hindley must pre-book their visits, and all visitors aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. The facility offers various amenities for visitors, including a waiting room, lockers, refreshments, and dedicated visits for families and neurodiverse individuals​​.

Rehabilitation Focus

At its core, HMP Hindley is dedicated to rehabilitating its inmates through education and vocational training. The prison’s regime includes learning opportunities, workshop places, and physical education programs. Additionally, HMP Hindley operates a listener and peer support scheme for those at risk of suicide or self-harm​​​​.


HMP Hindley has evolved significantly since its inception, transitioning from a youth borstal to an adult male prison focused on rehabilitation and education. With a range of programs and facilities, HMP Hindley aims to provide a supportive environment for its inmates, helping them reintegrate into society upon release.


  1. What type of facility is HMP Hindley today? HMP Hindley is currently a Category C prison for adult males aged 21 and older.

  2. What is the operational capacity of HMP Hindley? The official capacity is 400 prisoners, though it often houses around 700 inmates.

  3. What rehabilitation programs are offered at HMP Hindley? HMP Hindley offers vocational training, education, mental health support, and various rehabilitation programs focused on reducing recidivism.

  4. Has HMP Hindley fully transitioned from a youth facility? Yes, as of 2014-15, HMP Hindley no longer houses youth offenders and is dedicated solely to adult prisoners.

  5. What was HMP Hindley originally when it opened? It opened in 1961 as a borstal institution for young offenders.

  6. How can visitors book a visit to HMP Hindley? All visits must be pre-booked, and visitors can contact the prison directly to arrange their visit.

  7. What facilities are available for visitors at HMP Hindley? Facilities include a waiting room, lockers, refreshments, and dedicated family visit areas.

  8. What vocational training is available at HMP Hindley? Training includes food preparation, cleaning services, automobile mechanics, woodworking, and more.

  9. What mental health services are provided at HMP Hindley? The prison offers counseling, self-harm prevention initiatives, and specialized housing for at-risk inmates.

  10. Who are some notable inmates that have been held at HMP Hindley? Notable inmates include Will Cornick, who was sentenced for the murder of his schoolteacher Ann Maguire.

External Link

For more information about HMP Hindley, visit our other prison pages such as HMP Highpoint 

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