Introduction to HMP Swansea

HMP Swansea is a historic prison situated in the vibrant city of Swansea, Wales. Originally constructed between 1845 and 1861, this Victorian prison has a rich history and has evolved significantly over the years. HMP Swansea continues to serve as a Category B/C facility, providing a range of services to support the rehabilitation and welfare of its inmates.


HMP Swansea

A Brief History of HMP Swansea

HMP Swansea’s origins date back to the mid-19th century when it was built to replace the prison accommodations at Swansea Castle. The prison initially housed both male and female inmates until 1922, when female prisoners were transferred to Cardiff Prison. Throughout its history, HMP Swansea has witnessed notable events, including judicial executions that took place until 1958​​​​.


Location and General Information

Located on Oystermouth Road, HMP Swansea is conveniently situated near the city centre, providing easy access for visitors. The prison is about a mile from the train station and within walking distance from the bus station, making it accessible for families and legal representatives​​.

Current Status and Capacity

HMP Swansea operates as a local prison, accommodating adult and young adult males. It has a Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) of 265, but often houses around 383 inmates, resulting in an overcrowding rate of approximately 145%​​. This overcrowding poses significant challenges in maintaining optimal conditions and services for the inmates.

Prison Facilities and Services


The prison offers various accommodation types, including individual cells and shared spaces, equipped with basic amenities to ensure the safety and security of inmates​​.

Education and Vocational Training

HMP Swansea places a strong emphasis on education and vocational training. Inmates have access to programs that enhance their literacy, numeracy, and vocational skills, helping them prepare for successful reintegration into society​​.

Healthcare Services

An on-site healthcare unit staffed with medical professionals provides primary healthcare, mental health support, and substance abuse programs. This ensures that inmates receive comprehensive medical care during their incarceration​​.

Work Opportunities

Inmates can engage in various work activities within the prison, such as maintenance, kitchen duties, and recycling, promoting discipline and skill development​​.

Family Contact and Support

Recognizing the importance of maintaining family relationships, HMP Swansea facilitates visits and provides several ways for inmates to stay in touch with their loved ones, including secure video calls, phone calls, emails, and letters​​.

Resettlement Support

To aid in the transition back into society, the prison offers pre-release planning and support, including assistance with accommodation, employment, and community-based support services​​.

Challenges and Recent Developments

HMP Swansea has faced several challenges, including issues related to overcrowding, suicides, and self-harm among inmates. Recent inspections have highlighted the need for improved mental health resources, upgraded facilities, and better suicide prevention protocols​​​​. Despite these challenges, the prison continues to strive for better conditions and rehabilitation opportunities for its inmates.

Visiting HMP Swansea

Visiting hours at HMP Swansea are available daily, with specific guidelines and dress codes to ensure safety and security. Visitors can book their visits online or by phone, and there are family visit days organized throughout the year to strengthen family bonds​


1. What type of prison is HMP Swansea?

HMP Swansea is a Category B/C prison that houses adult and young adult males, offering various rehabilitation and educational programs.

2. Where is HMP Swansea located?

HMP Swansea is located on Oystermouth Road, Swansea, Wales, near the city centre and accessible by public transport​​.

3. What are the visiting hours at HMP Swansea?

Visiting hours are available daily, and bookings can be made online or by phone. Specific times and guidelines can be found on the official website​​.

4. How can inmates at HMP Swansea stay in touch with their families?

Inmates can use secure video calls, phone calls, emails, and letters to maintain contact with their families​​.

5. What educational opportunities are available at HMP Swansea?

The prison offers a range of educational programs, including literacy, numeracy, and vocational training, to help inmates develop skills for reintegration​​.

6. How does HMP Swansea address healthcare needs?

An on-site healthcare unit provides primary healthcare services, mental health support, and substance abuse programs to inmates​​.

7. What work opportunities are available for inmates at HMP Swansea?

Inmates can engage in various work activities, including maintenance, kitchen duties, and recycling, to develop skills and promote discipline​​.

8. What is the history of HMP Swansea?

Built between 1845 and 1861, HMP Swansea has a rich history and has evolved to serve as a Category B/C prison for adult males​​.

9. What challenges does HMP Swansea face?

The prison faces challenges such as overcrowding, suicides, and self-harm among inmates, with ongoing efforts to improve conditions and support​​.

10. How does HMP Swansea support resettlement for inmates?

The prison provides pre-release planning and support, including assistance with accommodation, employment, and access to community-based services​​.

Summary and Conclusion

HMP Swansea is a historic and significant institution in the UK prison system, offering various programs and services to support inmate rehabilitation and welfare. Despite facing challenges like overcrowding and the need for improved facilities, the prison remains committed to providing a safe and educational environment for its inmates. For more detailed information on HMP Swansea, visit the official website or other reliable sources to stay updated on its developments and services.

For more information, you can visit our other prison pages such as HMP Swaleside