What is Isle of Wight Prison Like?


What is Isle of Wight Prison Like? An In-Depth Look at the Facility


Understanding the true nature of a prison can often be challenging due to a lack of concrete information. However, Isle of Wight Prison proves to be an exception. Known for its strong sense of community and focus on education, this Long Term Category B prison offers a unique atmosphere for both staff and prisoners. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the prison’s history, life behind bars, and what makes it stand out.

Brief History of Isle of Wight Prison

Isle of Wight Prison has a long history, having been established in 1863. Operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), the prison has a capacity for 1068 inmates.


Situated on the scenic Isle of Wight, this facility is not only strategically located but also offers an environment that is different from mainland prisons.

What is Isle of Wight Prison Like?

What is Isle of Wight Prison Like?

Inside Isle of Wight Prison: Life Behind Bars

Prisoners’ Perspective

Inmates at the Isle of Wight Prison describe the environment as ‘safe’ and have good relations with the staff. A special mention goes to the gym facilities, which are accessible five times a week, and the staff involved. Family days are numerous and highly rated. Educational opportunities, particularly higher education and distance learning, are abundant. Peer support is highly praised, with trained ‘buddies’ for older inmates and those with complex needs. The ‘MQPL’ Prison Council meets monthly and serves as an effective platform for raising issues and suggestions.

Managers’ Point of View

Managers highlight the strong sense of community that spans across the facility. They praise the effectiveness of keywork in benefiting relations and prisoner behaviour. The prison offers multiple opportunities for inmates to develop and progress to Category C facilities. Two annual well-being days, weekly yoga sessions, and staff messes are seen as perks for the working staff.

Officers’ Perspective

Officers report that relationships with prisoners are good, particularly noting the management of older inmates and those with complex needs. The staff feels well-supported, appreciating the daily full staff briefings and the Deputy Governor’s personal reach-out after incidents like assaults or bereavements.

News Reports and Information

The Isle of Wight Prison has generally stayed away from negative headlines, often highlighted for its initiatives in education and prisoner welfare.

Isle of Wight Prison HMP Jail