What is Holme House Prison Like?


Are you curious about what Holme House Prison in County Durham is really like? This guide gives you a complete picture of life behind bars in this Category B local prison. Here we discuss the history, location, and experiences of prisoners, staff, and managers.

History of Holme House Prison:

Holme House Prison was established in 1938 and has been operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) ever since. As a Category B local prison, it’s designed to hold prisoners awaiting trial, sentence, or classification. With a long-standing history, the prison has continuously adapted and evolved to focus on rehabilitation and offender management.

What is Holme House Prison Like?

What is Holme House Prison Like?

Life Inside Holme House Prison:

For Managers:

Senior managers in Holme House are incredibly proud of their team’s resilience and commitment to care. One of the highlights is the prison’s monthly training days, which concentrate on offender management and dealing with challenging behaviour. The prison has been notably effective in keeping drug usage to a minimal level. The in-cell phones and kiosk systems are deemed transformative, significantly improving communication and access to services for prisoners. Family visits, facilitated by local charity NEPACS, are well-regarded.

For Prisoners:

Inmates are enthusiastic about the prison’s amenities, including in-cell phones and kiosks for self-service. Family visits are a big hit among the prisoner population, and educational programmes, particularly the Inside Out programme, receive high praise. Prisoners also value the influence they can exert through the Democratic Council and a variety of peer mentorship roles.

For Officers:

Holme House officers describe their colleagues as enthusiastic and committed, particularly welcoming the influx of new staff. There’s a strong culture focused on rehabilitation, backed by excellent training days and staff support mechanisms. Officers also commend the prison’s robust drug strategy and the positive impact of family visits.


Holme House Prison is situated in County Durham, offering a capacity of 1210 inmates. The location and its facilities align with its goal of being more than just a place for confinement; it aims to be a venue for meaningful change.

News and Reports:

Holme House has had relatively few incidents of concern. The drug strategy, including advanced search methods, has proven effective, and the facility generally maintains a focus on safety and rehabilitation.