New Hall was originally used as a satellite prison for HMP Wakefield to house men who were near the end of their sentence. The ‘open’ prison system began as an experiment at New Hall in 1933 due to an increase in the prison population and a lack of suitable employment. The success of this led to the opening of New Hall Camp in 1936. New Hall was re-roled in 1961 as a senior detention centre for male young offenders. In 1987 the prison was converted to a women’s prison.
Short description of residential units
- Willow: Comprised of three units A, B and C wings, which includes the first night centre on C wing.
- Larch: Timber frame unit with 40 rooms and shared association and shower and toilet facilities.
- Oak House: Modern new build unit with a mixed population of adults and young offenders, remand and sentenced women.
- Poplar House: Two spurs – Poplar 1 is reserved for life-sentenced women and those on indeterminate sentences for public protection. Poplar 2 holds a mixed population of adults and young offenders, remand and sentenced women.
- Maple House: Mother and baby unit.
- Rivendell: Up to 16 residents with complex needs and up to 14 low risk prisoners employed in trusted positions throughout the establishment. The Choices, Actions, Relationships, Emotions programme was also run at the house..
- Sycamore House: Care and separation unit.
- Holly House: Housing for a small number of women with complex needs or vulnerabilities requiring more intense staff attention and whose behaviour often could not be safely managed on big noisy wings.
The #1 governor is Natalie McKee, who has been in post since October 2018, and the prison has a capacity of 425 and is part of the East Midlands group of prisons. It is operated by HMPS