HMP Birmingham is a local prison with a total of 11 residential wings. The original Victorian wings were built in 1849 and these have been added to by more modern accommodation, most recently in 2004, which includes four new wings, a health centre, a gym, an education centre and workshops. There are specific wings for older prisoners, detoxification, sex offenders and vulnerable prisoners, and those new to the establishment.
Birmingham is the first-ever British public sector prison to be transferred into the private sector estate, with G4S managing the 15-year contract since October 2011. The prison was damaged in a serious disturbance in December 2016 and has undergone some refurbishment.
Shortly after an Urgent Notification was issued by HMI Prisons in 2018, HMPPS decided to take over the running of the prison temporarily. HMPPS replaced the G4S director with a public sector prison governor, reduced the prisoner population and provided additional public sector prison staff. In April 2019, the government announced its decision to place the prison under permanent public sector control and end the G4S contract from July 2019.
The prison is part of the West Midlands Group and has a capacity of 977 and the #1 governor since April 2019 is Paul Newton
The accommodation comprises
- K and L wings – remanded and convicted prisoners
- M wing- integrated drug treatment service detoxification
- D wing- sex offenders
- J wing – shielding unit and older/more vulnerable unit
- N and P wings – reverse cohorting units for new arrivals
- A, B and C wings – closed at the time of the inspection
- G wing- enhanced prisoners