What is Norwich Prison Like?

A panoramic view of Norwich Prison's exterior, including its modern and historical facilities.

What is Norwich Prison Like? An In-Depth Look

History of Norwich Prison

Opened in 1887 and operating as a Category B Local prison, Norwich Prison is situated in the heart of Norfolk. With a capacity of 728 prisoners, it is run by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) and stands as one of the older facilities in the system.

What is Norwich Prison Really Like?

Prisoners’ Perspective

Inmates have overwhelmingly described Norwich as a “good jail” and commend it for its comparative safety and cleanliness. While staff are under high pressure, they are lauded for their caring and positive attitude. They are particularly skilled at de-escalating tense situations. Family support is a standout feature, offering both full-day family visits and special visits tailored for children.

Managers’ Perspective

According to senior managers, Norwich Prison has a high retention rate among new staff, owing to excellent support systems, including an experienced Learning & Development Unit and dedicated mentors. Recent innovations include staff well-being days and an enhanced staff recognition committee. The prison’s relationships with local employers are strong, with regular employment fairs to assist prisoners nearing release.

What is Norwich Prison Like?

What is Norwich Prison Like?

Officers’ Perspective

Officers highlight the robust camaraderie and support among staff. New recruits undergo a comprehensive four-week shadowing process and receive excellent mentorship. Communication is a high priority, supported by daily wing briefings. There is special praise for the 15-bed unit for elderly prisoners, complete with accredited palliative care. Mental health support services also receive positive reviews.

Location and Accessibility

Located in Norfolk, Norwich Prison is accessible for family visits, legal consultations, and more. It is well-integrated into the local community, providing a pathway for successful re-entry into society.

News and Updates

Recent years have seen the prison focus on improving staff well-being, recognition programmes, and strengthening links with local employers for prisoner employment opportunities.


With a strong focus on staff-prisoner relations, family support, and innovative programmes, Norwich Prison offers a balanced approach to incarceration. Its long-standing history and experience make it a standout facility in the HMPS system.

What is Norwich Prison Like?