What is Leicestershire Prison Like?

Leicester Prison Entrance

What is Leicester Prison Like? – A Comprehensive Guide to the Category B Facility in Leicestershire

Welcome to our extensive look into Leicester Prison, a Category B local prison in Leicestershire with a capacity of 411 inmates. Established in 1874 and operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), the facility has a long-standing history and has seen various developments over the years. Read on to discover the facility’s history, what life is like for prisoners, and real testimonials from prisoners, managers, and officers.

Leicester Prison History

Leicester Prison was opened in 1874, making it one of the older incarceration facilities in the United Kingdom. Its primary purpose is to serve as a Category B local prison. Over the years, it has seen several reforms and updates, reflecting changes in the British penal system.


Located in Leicestershire, Leicester Prison is strategically placed to serve the Midlands and surrounding areas, making it a local facility that caters to a specific regional inmate population.

What is Leicestershire Prison Like?

What is Leicestershire Prison Like?

What’s Life Like Inside Leicester Prison?

Prisoners’ Perspective

Inmates describe Leicester Prison as a ‘safe jail’ with ‘very little’ presence of Spice or other illicit drugs. This is attributed to an effective security team and the prison’s smaller size. Staff-prisoner relations are commendable; inmates say the ‘staff really do try to help.’ They also praise the approachable and positive demeanour of the governor grades and Custodial Managers (CMs). Visits here are ‘the best,’ with comfortable furniture making it ‘not like being in prison.’ Inmates value the role of peer advisors, diversity & equalities reps, and first night workers, citing decent education and training ‘for such a small prison.’ The music project and gym facilities are particularly appreciated, as is the provision of two hot meals per day.

Managers’ Views

Senior Managers (SMs) and CMs at Leicester Prison describe a strong ‘#TeamLeicester’ community feel among staff and prisoners. They commend the dedicated Lambert unit for challenging prisoners and underline the facility’s strong community links and support from outside agencies. They also appreciate the Governor’s ‘Off the Cuff’ weekly newsletter, monthly full staff meetings, and regular staff well-being days. They highlight strong support from top-level management following any staff assaults.

Officers’ Observations

Officers agree that the prison is ‘safer than other Category B prisons,’ with an ‘excellent’ level of prisoner relations. They also praise the ‘very good’ management and staff recognition schemes, while mentioning that keywork has been a recent but significant positive addition.

News Reports and Other Information

Leicester Prison has been in the news for both good and bad reasons. While it faces challenges like any other penal institution, the positive community feel and focus on rehabilitation stand out.


Leicester Prison offers more than what meets the eye. From a focus on safety and decent staff-prisoner relations to offering a variety of educational and recreational activities, it is a facility that aims to strike a balance between security and inmate welfare.

Leicester Prison HMP