What is Coldingley prison like
What is Coldingley Prison Like? A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding HMP Coldingley
Back in its heyday during the 1990s, Coldingley Prison was the epitome of a Category B training prison. It was widely recognized as the go-to facility if you were keen to work hard and earn a substantial prison wage. Fast-forward to today, Coldingley is now a Category C adult male prison situated in Bisley, Surrey, and managed by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
Originally opened in 1969, Coldingley started off as a Category B training prison with a ceremonial inauguration attended by Lord Stonham, then the Minister of State for the Home Office. For years, it maintained an excellent reputation for being one of the most labor-intensive yet rewarding prisons in terms of inmate pay. However, times have changed, and so have the operational protocols of Coldingley.
Transition to a Category C Prison
The prison was upgraded to a Category C facility in 1993, and its focus shifted. A 2004 report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons criticized Coldingley for lacking adequate work and training programs, as well as falling short in prisoner resettlement efforts. The high wages that once made Coldingley popular have since been scaled back. Nonetheless, inmates have the opportunity to earn up to £33 a week by working in various prison industries, including laundry, sign making, engineering, and printing.
Coldingley’s Many Wings and Facilities
Coldingley boasts seven different wings—Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, and Golf—with varying accommodations. The prison includes both single and double cells, with Echo Wing specially designed to house kitchen workers and those enrolled in specialized courses.
Health and Education at Coldingley
The facility underwent a series of upgrades, including the addition of a state-of-the-art gym in 2009 and a modern Education Block. While staffing issues have slowed the Education Block from reaching its full potential, it nevertheless offers an array of courses, from Numeracy and Literacy to Business Enterprise and IT skills. The gym offers comprehensive fitness options, with equipment like treadmills, cross-trainers, and ergometers.
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Crime Diversion and Rehabilitation Programs
Coldingley runs a unique Crime Diversion Scheme aimed at deterring young, first-time offenders from a life of crime. Inmates share their personal experiences to educate and warn young individuals about the harsh consequences of incarceration.
The prison also has a modest library, offering a decent selection of books to help inmates in their pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement.
While it may not offer the high wages of yesteryears, Coldingley Prison has evolved into a multifaceted institution focusing on rehabilitation, work opportunities, and education. For those interested in the day-to-day life of inmates or those researching prison conditions, understanding what Coldingley Prison is like today provides valuable insights into the complexities and challenges of the modern UK penal system.