Dovegate opened in 2001. In September 2009, new accommodation was opened to increase capacity, with half the 260 spaces dedicated to local prisoner places. It is run by Serco. It is split into 2 units, the main prison housing 860 and the Therapeutic Community having a capacity of 200. The #1 governor is John Hewitson/Sarah Tiffin in respect of the TC unit.
A therapeutic community (TC) is where people choose to live together, support each other, challenge others and be challenged on all aspects of their offending. It aims to alter people’s way of thinking, enabling them to change their lives for the better. The TCs were run democratically, which meant that where possible all members of the community are involved in making decisions that affected the community. Prisoners were encouraged to playan active role in the community and a variety of roles and representative jobs were available. Communities were learning experiences and everything was designed to have therapeutic value and provide men with an opportunity to develop within a safe environment.
The prison is part of the West Midlands Region.
The accommodation in the main prison is:
- House block 1
- A wing General wing
- B wing General wing
- C wing General wing
- D wing General wing
- E wing General wing
- House block 2
- F wing General wing
- G wing Vulnerable prisoner unit
- H wing Vulnerable prisoner unit
- J wing General wing
- K wing Cellular confinement and accommodation for prisoners aged 50+
- House block 3
- L wing General wing
- M wing Integrated drug treatment system (IDTS) wing
- N wing Remand prisoners
- P wing General wing
The Therapeutic Community is houses in 6 two-storey residential units: four hold 40 men and two hold 20. All cells are single occupancy with en-suite facilities.