HMP Risley: An Overview

HMP Risley, situated in Warrington, Cheshire, is a Category C prison that plays a crucial role in the UK’s prison system. Established in 1964, it initially served as a remand centre for both male and female inmates. Over the decades, it has evolved into a training and resettlement prison for adult males, focusing on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending rates.


HMP Risley

History of HMP Risley

HMP Risley was built in 1964 as a remand centre. However, its history is marked by significant changes and events. In 1989, a major disturbance led to extensive damage, prompting a shift in its function to a Category C training prison. The early 1990s saw further expansions and refurbishments, including the addition of new wings. Notably, in 2009, it became a hub for foreign national prisoners and introduced a dedicated drug recovery unit​​​​.


Location and Capacity

Located in Risley, Warrington, Cheshire, HMP Risley is designed to house around 1,095 inmates. It comprises several wings, including Appleton, Birchwood, Culcheth, Daresbury, and Elton, each providing specific accommodations and services to support inmate rehabilitation​​​​.

Inmate Life and Facilities at HMP Risley

HMP Risley offers a range of facilities aimed at promoting rehabilitation and personal development. Inmates have access to educational programs managed by Novus, covering basic literacy to Open University courses. Additionally, there are various workshops, including construction, catering, horticulture, and recycling, to help inmates acquire valuable skills for future employment​​.

The prison also provides comprehensive healthcare services, including medical, dental, and mental health care. A multi-faith chaplaincy team is available to cater to the spiritual needs of inmates, offering various worship services and pastoral care​​.

Rehabilitation and Support Programs

Rehabilitation is a cornerstone of HMP Risley’s mission. The prison runs several offending behaviour programmes addressing issues such as violence, drug abuse, and sexual offences. Substance misuse services, including counselling and peer-led support, are available for inmates struggling with addiction​​​​.

Challenges and Improvements

HMP Risley has faced challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prison implemented strict measures to control outbreaks, including lockdowns and limited prisoner movement, which impacted mental health. However, the management team’s efforts in promoting cleanliness and social distancing were notable, and violence levels remained relatively low despite the restrictions​​.


HMP Risley remains a key institution within the UK’s prison system, focusing on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending rates. Its comprehensive range of educational and vocational programmes, coupled with robust healthcare and support services, underscores its commitment to inmate welfare and reintegration into society.


  1. What is HMP Risley known for? HMP Risley is known for its rehabilitation programmes and as a training and resettlement prison for adult males.

  2. Where is HMP Risley located? HMP Risley is located in Warrington, Cheshire.

  3. What type of prison is HMP Risley? HMP Risley is a Category C prison, focusing on training and resettlement.

  4. What are the visiting hours at HMP Risley? Visiting hours are 13:45 – 16:00 Monday to Sunday and 09:00 – 11:45 on weekends​​.

  5. What educational programmes does HMP Risley offer? HMP Risley offers various educational programmes, from basic literacy to Open University courses​​.

  6. How can I send money to an inmate at HMP Risley? Money can be sent via an online service approved by the prison​​.

  7. What is the capacity of HMP Risley? HMP Risley has the capacity to hold approximately 1,095 inmates​​.

  8. What facilities are available at HMP Risley? Facilities include educational programmes, workshops, healthcare services, and a multi-faith chaplaincy​​.

  9. What rehabilitation programmes are offered at HMP Risley? Rehabilitation programmes at HMP Risley include offending behaviour programmes and substance misuse services​​.

  10. How has HMP Risley addressed COVID-19 challenges? HMP Risley implemented strict measures to control COVID-19 outbreaks, including lockdowns, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning protocols​​.

External Link: For more detailed information, you can visit our other prison pages such as HMP Ranby