HMP Usk: History, Information, and Latest News

HMP Usk, located in Monmouthshire, Wales, is a Category C prison primarily housing vulnerable male offenders, including convicted sex offenders. Established in 1844, it has a rich history and continues to function as a significant correctional facility in the UK.



History of HMP Usk

HMP Usk was originally opened in 1844 as a house of correction and later became the Monmouthshire County Gaol in 1870. The prison experienced several transformations, closing in 1922 and reopening in 1939 as a borstal. It subsequently served various roles, including a detention centre and a young offenders institution, before becoming an adult Category C prison in 1990​​​​.


Current Role and Function

HMP Usk is known for its focus on rehabilitation, particularly for sex offenders. The prison offers extensive treatment programs aimed at reducing reoffending. The facility has a capacity of 280 inmates, who are accommodated across four wings, with shared cells being the norm. The prison also features a separate unit, the Comber Unit, for prisoners who demonstrate good behaviour​​.

Education and Work Programs

HMP Usk places a strong emphasis on education and skill development. Prisoners can engage in a variety of educational courses, from basic literacy and numeracy to higher education and vocational training. Programs include health and safety, food safety, business studies, and various trades, which are designed to aid in the prisoners’ reintegration into society post-release​​​​.

Life Inside HMP Usk

The prison environment at HMP Usk is structured to promote safety and rehabilitation. Inmates have access to indoor and outdoor gym facilities, a multi-faith chaplaincy, and a range of recreational activities. The prison also ensures that inmates receive adequate health care and support for substance misuse issues​​.

Location and Accessibility

HMP Usk is situated in the town of Usk, Monmouthshire, making it relatively accessible for visitors and family members. The prison supports various communication methods, including phone calls, emails, and letters, ensuring that inmates can maintain contact with their loved ones​​.

Recent Developments

In recent years, HMP Usk has maintained a high performance rating, reflecting its commitment to safety, rehabilitation, and inmate welfare. The prison’s efforts in providing a supportive environment have been recognised, contributing to its status as one of the better-performing prisons in the UK​​​​.


FAQs about HMP Usk


  1. What type of prisoners does HMP Usk hold? HMP Usk primarily houses Category C male prisoners, focusing on convicted sex offenders and vulnerable inmates.

  2. What educational opportunities are available at HMP Usk? The prison offers a broad range of educational courses, from basic literacy to higher education and vocational training.

  3. Where is HMP Usk located? HMP Usk is located in the town of Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales.

  4. How can I contact an inmate at HMP Usk? Inmates can be contacted via phone calls, emails, and letters. Specific services like the Prison Video app are also available for video calls.

  5. What is the capacity of HMP Usk? HMP Usk has a capacity of 280 inmates.

  6. What rehabilitation programs are offered at HMP Usk? The prison offers extensive treatment programs for sex offenders, aiming to reduce reoffending.

  7. Can inmates at HMP Usk receive visitors? Yes, inmates can receive visitors. Visits can be arranged online or via telephone.

  8. What kind of work opportunities are available for prisoners? Prisoners can engage in various vocational training programs, including trades, business studies, and more.

  9. Is HMP Usk involved in any recent expansions or refurbishments? While HMP Usk itself has not been part of recent expansions, the UK government has invested in expanding and refurbishing other prisons to improve conditions and rehabilitation efforts.

  10. How does HMP Usk ensure the safety of its inmates? The prison has robust safeguarding measures and provides comprehensive support for health and wellbeing, ensuring a safe environment for all inmates.

Summary and Conclusion

HMP Usk stands as a testament to the evolution of the UK prison system, focusing on rehabilitation and inmate welfare. With its rich history and commitment to providing a supportive environment, HMP Usk plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system. For more detailed information about HMP Usk and its operations,

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


  1. GOV.UK – HMP Usk
  2. Monmouthshire Beacon – The changing face of Usk prison
  3. Doing Time – General Information, HMP Usk
  4. Annual Prison Performance Ratings 2022/23
  5. Prison Reform Trust
  6. House of Commons Library – Categorisation of prisoners in the UK

Also, for further reading, visit Prison Guide.