HMP Lancaster Farms: Introduction

HMP Lancaster Farms is a Category C male resettlement prison located on the outskirts of Lancaster, Lancashire. Established in 1993, it has evolved from a young offenders’ institution to its current role, offering a variety of rehabilitation and resettlement programs.


HMP Lancaster Farms

History of HMP Lancaster Farms

HMP Lancaster Farms opened in March 1993 as a purpose-built facility designed to accommodate young offenders. Initially serving as a remand centre, its capacity was doubled in 1996 with the addition of new units. In 2001, it transitioned to housing juvenile offenders before being reclassified in 2014 to hold Category C adult male prisoners. This reclassification aligned with its new focus on resettlement and rehabilitation, providing inmates with opportunities to develop skills and prepare for reintegration into society.


Location and Facilities

Situated on Far Moor Lane, Lancaster, HMP Lancaster Farms is strategically placed to serve the North West of England. The prison comprises several units, including:

  • Grizedale Unit: Enhanced regime for trusted occupations.
  • Coniston 1: First night centre and induction unit.
  • Coniston 2: Inspire recovery unit.
  • Derwent, Windermere, and Buttermere Units: General population.
  • Ullswater Unit: Segregation unit.

These units are designed to facilitate various rehabilitative activities such as industrial cleaning, physical education, vocational training, and gardening.

Capacity and Inmate Demographics

As of recent reports, HMP Lancaster Farms has a Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) of 495, with an actual population of approximately 530 inmates, indicating an overcrowding rate of about 107%. This overcapacity highlights the ongoing challenges within the UK prison system regarding space and resources.

Categorisation and Security Level

HMP Lancaster Farms operates as a Category C prison. Category C prisons, often referred to as training prisons, aim to provide inmates with education and vocational training. The primary goal is to prepare prisoners for reintegration into society upon release. Unlike Category A and B prisons, Category C facilities house inmates who do not pose a high escape risk but still require a secure environment.

Recent Developments and News

HMP Lancaster Farms has seen significant developments, including plans to expand its capacity to accommodate an additional 120 inmates. This expansion is part of a broader initiative by the Ministry of Justice to address the increasing prison population across the UK. The prison’s commitment to rehabilitation is evident through its partnerships with organizations like the Red Cross, the YMCA, and the Prince’s Trust, which support various inmate programs.

Daily Life and Rehabilitation Programs

Life at HMP Lancaster Farms is structured to support rehabilitation and personal development. Inmates have access to educational programs, vocational training, and recreational activities. The prison also emphasizes mental and physical well-being, offering healthcare services and support for substance abuse recovery.

Inmates are encouraged to maintain family connections through secure video calls, phone calls, and letter correspondence. The prison’s approach is designed to ensure that inmates have the necessary support to reduce reoffending upon release.


1. What is HMP Lancaster Farms?

HMP Lancaster Farms is a Category C male resettlement prison located in Lancaster, Lancashire, focused on rehabilitation and preparing inmates for reintegration into society.

2. How can I contact an inmate at HMP Lancaster Farms?

Inmates can be contacted via secure video calls using the Prison Video app, phone calls, emails through the “Email a Prisoner” service, and traditional mail. Detailed guidelines are available on the GOV.UK website.

3. What are the visiting hours at HMP Lancaster Farms?

Visiting hours are from 14:00 to 15:00 and 15:30 to 16:30 on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Visitors must book in advance.

4. What rehabilitation programs are available at HMP Lancaster Farms?

HMP Lancaster Farms offers a variety of programs including vocational training, industrial cleaning, physical education, and substance abuse recovery support.

5. How overcrowded is HMP Lancaster Farms?

As of the latest reports, the prison has an overcrowding rate of approximately 107%, with a CNA of 495 and an actual population of 530 inmates.

6. When was HMP Lancaster Farms established?

HMP Lancaster Farms was established in March 1993 as a young offenders’ institution and has since evolved to its current status as a Category C adult male prison.

7. Where is HMP Lancaster Farms located?

HMP Lancaster Farms is located on Far Moor Lane, Quernmore Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3QZ.

8. What type of inmates are housed at HMP Lancaster Farms?

The prison houses Category C adult male prisoners, primarily those who are preparing for reintegration into society.

9. What are the recent expansions at HMP Lancaster Farms?

The prison is undergoing an expansion to increase its capacity by 120 inmates, addressing the rising national prison population.

10. How does HMP Lancaster Farms support inmate rehabilitation?

The prison provides various educational and vocational programs, mental health support, and partnerships with external organizations to support inmate rehabilitation and reduce reoffending rates.


HMP Lancaster Farms plays a crucial role in the UK’s prison system by focusing on rehabilitation and resettlement for Category C adult male prisoners. Through its various programs and initiatives, the prison aims to provide inmates with the skills and support needed for successful reintegration into society. For more detailed information, visit our other prison pages such as HMP Kirklevington Grange