What is Onley Prison Like?

Front gates of Onley Prison, Northamptonshire.

What is Onley Prison Like? An In-Depth Look

The History of Onley Prison

Opened in 1968 and located in Northamptonshire, Onley Prison is a Category C institution operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS). With a capacity of 734 inmates, this prison has long been a part of the British penal system.

Life Inside Onley Prison

Perspective from Management

Managers at Onley consider the institution to be a safe environment with good staff-prisoner relationships. Staff camaraderie is described as ‘excellent,’ with a Governor who is both visible and supportive. Regular staff briefings and meetings help maintain high morale, and the staff recognition scheme is a highlight. The prison boasts effective prisoner engagement, including a very active Prisoner Council. Vocational training and strong links with local employers further make this prison unique. A popular ‘Change Request’ scheme allows prisoners and staff to share ideas for improvements, fostering a collaborative atmosphere.

The Prisoners’ View

Inmates view the staff positively, stating that many go above and beyond in their roles. They appreciate the constructive atmosphere, where staff offer praise and encouragement to those who are working to better themselves. Reception staff set a welcoming tone for new inmates, and the gym staff are considered especially supportive. Family visits are facilitated smoothly, with the Inside Out charity receiving particular praise for their exceptional work on visitations.

What is Onley Prison Like?

What is Onley Prison Like?

Officers Weigh In

Officers find Onley to be ‘safe’ when compared to other prisons, with good relations among staff and between staff and prisoners. Daily briefings and regular training keep everyone on the same page, while a culture of gratitude for jobs well done boosts morale. The staff mess, rest rooms, and cooking facilities all receive positive mentions. Officers also appreciate the strong local employer and training links that are beneficial for prisoner rehabilitation.

Location and Accessibility

Onley Prison is conveniently located in Northamptonshire, making it easily accessible for visits from friends and family.

In the News

Onley Prison has gained a reputation for its excellent resettlement programs and has consistently shown high levels of accommodation and employment for inmates upon their release.


In summary, Onley Prison is more than just a penal institution. It is a place that focuses on the well-being of both its staff and inmates, offering various programs aimed at rehabilitation and providing a safe environment for all.

What is Onley Prison Like?