HMP Leeds: Introduction

HMP Leeds, a notable Category B men’s prison in West Yorkshire, has a long and storied history dating back to 1847. Initially known as Armley Gaol, HMP Leeds now serves various courts in the region and is integral to the local criminal justice system.


HMP Leeds

History of HMP Leeds

HMP Leeds, originally Armley Gaol, was established in 1847 and has since become one of the UK’s most recognized correctional facilities. Its historic facade has long dominated the skyline of Armley, reflecting its significant role in the region’s judicial history​​​​.


Capacity and Infrastructure

HMP Leeds has the capacity to house up to 1,212 prisoners across its six residential units, a segregation unit, First Night Centre, and Vulnerable Prisoner Unit. The prison’s facilities include in-patient healthcare and comprehensive support services aimed at addressing inmates’ health and rehabilitative needs​​​​.

Prisoner Categorisation and Population

HMP Leeds is classified as a Category B local prison, primarily holding remand prisoners and those serving short sentences. This classification signifies that the prison is medium security, designed to house individuals who pose a high escape risk but do not require maximum security. The prison currently houses over 1,100 inmates, significantly exceeding its Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) of 641​​​​.

Location and Contact Information

Situated in the Armley area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, HMP Leeds is strategically located to serve the magistrates’ and crown courts across West Yorkshire and neighboring regions. The address is 2 Gloucester Terrace, Leeds, LS12 2TJ. For general enquiries, the prison can be contacted at 0113 203 2600​​​​.

Notable Incidents and Inmates

HMP Leeds has been the site of several notable incidents and housed various infamous inmates. The prison has a grim history of executions, with the last hanging occurring in 1961. Notable past inmates include Charles Bronson, Roy Chubby Brown, and Peter Sutcliffe​​​​.

Rehabilitation and Support Programs

A key focus at HMP Leeds is rehabilitation, providing various programs aimed at education, substance abuse treatment, and post-release support. The prison offers a Short Duration Drugs Programme and other health and lifestyle initiatives to prepare inmates for reintegration into society​​​​.

Overcrowding Issues

Like many UK prisons, HMP Leeds faces significant overcrowding challenges, operating at around 172% of its CNA. This overcrowding exacerbates the difficulties in managing the prison population and providing adequate care and rehabilitative services​​.

Community Impact and Employment

Despite its notorious reputation, HMP Leeds is a significant employer in the Armley area, providing jobs to numerous local residents. The prison’s presence has a substantial impact on the local economy and community dynamics​​.

Recent News and Developments

HMP Leeds continues to make headlines, often highlighting issues such as overcrowding, inmate welfare, and rehabilitation efforts. Recent reports focus on the improvements being made in education and support services for inmates to reduce reoffending rates​​​​.

Visiting HMP Leeds

Visiting arrangements at HMP Leeds are stringent, ensuring security while maintaining inmate contact with family and friends. Visits can be booked via telephone, and there are specific times allocated for visits each week

FAQs about HMP Leeds

  1. What is the capacity of HMP Leeds? HMP Leeds can house up to 1,212 prisoners.

  2. What category is HMP Leeds? HMP Leeds is a Category B prison.

  3. Where is HMP Leeds located? HMP Leeds is located in the Armley area of Leeds, West Yorkshire.

  4. Can I send money to an inmate at HMP Leeds? Yes, money can be sent via an online service or, in some cases, by post.

  5. What kind of rehabilitation programs does HMP Leeds offer? HMP Leeds offers drug treatment programs, educational courses, and vocational training.

  6. Who are some notable inmates who have been held at HMP Leeds? Notable inmates include Charles Bronson and Peter Sutcliffe.

  7. What are the visiting hours at HMP Leeds? Visiting hours vary and need to be booked in advance, typically available on weekdays.

  8. How old is HMP Leeds? HMP Leeds was established in 1847.

  9. Is HMP Leeds overcrowded? Yes, HMP Leeds is significantly overcrowded, operating at around 172% of its Certified Normal Accommodation.

  10. What type of prison is HMP Leeds? HMP Leeds is a local prison primarily for remand and short-sentence inmates.

Summary and Conclusion

HMP Leeds stands as a historic and significant facility within the UK’s prison system. Despite challenges such as overcrowding, it continues to play a crucial role in prisoner rehabilitation and community employment. For more detailed information about HMP Leeds, visit our other prison pages such as HMP Lancaster Farms