What crimes are a category D Prisoner?

What crimes are a category D Prisoner

What crimes are a category D Prisoner? In the United Kingdom, the prison system is categorised into four main types, from Category A (the highest security) to Category D (the lowest). This classification is essential for ensuring that inmates are housed in facilities appropriate to their security and risk levels.

Differences Between Prison Categories

  • Category A: High-security prisons for those who pose a significant risk to the public, police, or national security.
  • Category B: Prisons for inmates who require secure conditions but are not considered the highest security risk.
  • Category C: Facilities for prisoners who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who do not require the highest levels of security.
  • Category D: Open prisons for inmates who pose a low risk and can be trusted with more freedom.

Who is a Category D Prisoner?

  • Category D prisoners in the UK are those deemed to pose a low risk to the public and are therefore suitable for open prison conditions. These prisoners typically include:

    1. Non-Violent Offenders: Individuals convicted of crimes that did not involve violence.
    2. White-Collar Criminals: Those guilty of non-violent crimes such as fraud or embezzlement.
    3. Short-Term Prisoners: Inmates serving shorter sentences for lesser offences.
    4. Prisoners Nearing End of Sentence: Those who are approaching the end of their sentence and have demonstrated good behaviour.
    5. Low-Risk Offenders: Individuals whose risk assessment indicates they are unlikely to abscond or pose a threat to the community.

List of Category D Prisons in the UK

Some of the well-known Category D prisons in the UK include:

  • HMP Ford
  • HMP Hatfield
  • HMP Kirkham
  • HMP Leyhill
  • HMP Prescoed
  • HMP Spring Hill
  • HMP Sudbury

Progressing to a Category D Open Prison

Moving from a higher category prison to a Category D open prison involves several key factors:

  1. Consistent Good Behaviour: Demonstrating sustained good conduct is essential.
  2. Risk Assessment: Showing a reduced risk of harm to the public and a low likelihood of absconding.
  3. Engagement in Rehabilitation Programmes: Active participation in courses and activities aimed at addressing offending behaviour.
  4. Positive Reports from Prison Staff: Endorsements from officers and prison staff based on observed behaviour and attitude.
  5. Category Review Process: Regular reviews by a panel to assess suitability for re-categorisation to an open prison.


Understanding the categorisation of Category D prisoners is crucial for grasping the UK’s approach to prison management. Category D prisons, or open prisons, house low-risk inmates, often serving the end of their sentences or those convicted of non-violent crimes. The progression to a Category D prison is a significant step for inmates, indicating trust and a lower risk level. This system plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process, preparing inmates for eventual reintegration into society.