What is Leyhill Prison Like?

Life Behind the Bars at Leyhill Prison

What is Leyhill Prison Like? – An In-Depth Overview of the Open Prison in Gloucestershire

If you’re keen to know what Leyhill Prison is like, you’ve come to the right place. Located in the parish of Tortworth in Gloucestershire, Leyhill Prison is a Category D men’s prison operated by His Majesty’s Prison Service. With a focus on preparing inmates for release, Leyhill Prison has its own set of challenges and achievements. In this article, we delve into the history, what life inside the prison is actually like, and the latest inspection reports.

History of Leyhill Prison

Established as a Category D prison, Leyhill primarily serves as an open prison designed for men, particularly those convicted of sexual offences. It aims to facilitate the transition of these inmates back into society by providing an environment that is less restrictive than higher-category prisons.


Leyhill Prison can be found at Gloucester, GL12 8BT, in the parish of Tortworth in Gloucestershire, England.

What is Leyhill Prison Like?

What is Leyhill Prison Like?

What’s Life Inside Leyhill Prison Like?

Latest Inspection Reports

In 2021, an inspection by HM Inspectorate of Prisons noted serious concerns about the prison’s management of high-risk prisoners approaching release. The lack of planning was particularly alarming for prisoners convicted of sexual offences. Prisoners had little opportunity to prove their risk level due to limited release on temporary licence (ROTL) options.

The Inmate Experience

While inmates faced restrictions in release planning, they were not completely isolated from normal life. Prisoners were unlocked for over 11 hours a day and could move freely around the site. Workshops and employment opportunities were maintained to provide a secure, supervised environment. Despite these freedoms, negative perceptions from the inmates were evident, with less than two-thirds feeling treated with respect by the staff.

Health and Safety

Leyhill Prison successfully mitigated the threat of COVID-19, keeping the number of confirmed cases low. Given that over half of the population is above 50 and belongs to high-vulnerability groups, this was commendable. Health care provision was deemed good by inspectors.

News Reports and Information

The most significant news concerning Leyhill Prison is its need for urgent improvement in handling the release of high-risk prisoners. Insufficient housing opportunities have led to prisoners, including those with disabilities, being held far beyond their approved release dates.

To Conclude

Leyhill Prison faces unique challenges given its inmate population. While there are areas where the prison has performed well, such as its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, serious issues such as poor planning for the release of high-risk inmates need to be addressed.

For more insights into the UK prison system, please browse our other articles.

Contact Information

  • Address: Gloucester GL12 8BT
  • Phone: 01454 264000
  • Governor: Neil Lavis
  • Security Class: Adult Male/Category D
Leyhill Prison HMP