HMP Whitemoor opened in 1991 as part of the high security estate. The main establishment now supports two regimes: a mainstream prisoner population and a population with personality disorders. Most prisoners are younger than those in other maximum security prisons and prisoners who are vulnerable because of their offence are not generally held. One wing is specifically designated to manage prisoners with personality disorders. A close supervision centre (CSC), which opened in October 2004, is part of a centrally managed national strategy administered by the directorate of high security at Prison Service Headquarters. It aims to provide the most dangerous, disturbed and disruptive prisoners with a more controlled environment to help them develop a more settled and acceptable pattern of behaviour.
There were 4our main residential wings containing individual cells:
- A wing – has three spurs, with one spur designated as the psychologically informed planned environment (PIPE) unit
- B wing and C wing – residential units with three spurs each
- D wing – the Fens unit, with 70 cells for prisoners on a personality disorder programme Segregation unit – 30 cells (12 of these spaces are designated as Bridge unit accommodation)
- Health care unit – 9 bed spaces