What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK?

What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK?

What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK? Your Complete Guide


The United Kingdom has a long history of prison facilities, some dating back several centuries. However, as the demands of modern society evolve, so does the need for more advanced and secure prison establishments. So, what are the newest prisons in the UK? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into this subject, focusing on the most recently built facilities in the UK’s criminal justice system.

Why New Prisons?

Before we list the newest prisons, it’s essential to understand why new facilities are being built. The primary reasons include:

  • Overcrowding: Many older prisons are struggling with capacity issues, making new facilities necessary.

  • Modernisation: Newer prisons are equipped with advanced security measures and rehabilitation facilities.

  • Specialisation: Some new prisons are designed to house specific types of offenders, such as those convicted of terrorism-related offences.

What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK?

What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK?

Newest Prisons in the UK

HMP Berwyn (Wrexham, Wales)

Opened in 2017, HMP Berwyn is one of the newest and largest prisons in the UK. It’s designed to hold more than 2,000 inmates and focuses on rehabilitation and education.

HMP Five Wells (Wellingborough)

This facility is expected to open its doors in 2022 and aims to set new standards in prison design and operation. It will focus on rehabilitation and offer various educational and vocational programmes.

HMP Thameside (London)

Opened in 2012, HMP Thameside is a private prison managed by Serco. It has a capacity for around 1,200 inmates and offers a range of educational and work-related programmes.

HMP Oakwood (Wolverhampton)

This prison opened in 2012 and is one of the largest in England, with a capacity for over 2,000 inmates. It’s a Category C prison, focusing on training and rehabilitation.

HMP Forest Bank (Salford)

Although not as new as others on this list, HMP Forest Bank was opened in 2000 and serves as a notable example of a modern UK prison. It’s a private prison managed by Sodexo Justice Services.

Features of New Prisons

  • Advanced Security: New prisons are equipped with state-of-the-art security systems, including biometric scans and CCTV surveillance.

  • Rehabilitation Focus: Modern facilities emphasise rehabilitation, offering various programmes to prepare inmates for life after prison.

  • Sustainability: Many new prisons are designed with sustainability in mind, featuring energy-efficient systems and waste management programmes.


The UK’s newest prisons reflect the changing needs and priorities of the country’s criminal justice system. These modern facilities are designed to address issues like overcrowding and outdated infrastructure while focusing on rehabilitation and security. As the UK continues to evolve, so too will its approach to incarceration, with new prisons setting the standard for what a modern correctional facility should be.

What Are the Newest Prisons in the UK?