HMP Drake Hall, General Information

Drake Hall provided accommodation for female munitions workers in World War II. Originally a male prison, it became a female prison in 1974. In 2002, the prison was re-designated from open to semiopen and in 2009 to closed.


There are 15 residential units within the prison’s perimeter fence, accommodating up to 315 prisoners, with most units holding approximately 20 people.

  • Norwich   unit –   general non-vaping unit
  • Bristol unit – for the general population and those with complex needs
  • Canterbury, Durham, Exeter, Folkestone, Gloucester, Ipswich, Margate, Oxford and Richmond units–   for the general population with some double rooms
  • Keele unit – a 19-room induction unit
  • Plymouth unit –    for prisoners on the enhanced level
  • Lancaster unit –   mostly housing long-term prisoners and lifers
  •  St David’s unit – 16 single rooms for prisoners with social care or mobility needs.

The open unit located outside the prison gate can hold up to 25 women.

The prison is part of the West Midlands region and has a capacity of 340. The #1 governor is Mr Carl Hardwick


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