The prison was built between 1875 and 1891 by prisoners from Milbank Gaol. During its existence is has housed women prisoners, been a borstal and was used by the War department in the early 1940’s. The buildings were refurbished around 15 years ago at the same time a new wing was added.
The population profile of the prison at June 2021 was :
- 1,664 new prisoners received each year (around 139 per month).
- 339 foreign national prisoners.
- 55% of prisoners from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
- 64% of prisoners unsentenced.
- 147 prisoners released into the community each month.
- 263 prisoners receiving support for substance use.
- A wing (landings 1 and 2): Workers, remand and sentenced prisoners. It holds a maximum of 207 prisoners.
- A wing (landing 3): Protective isolation unit. It holds a maximum of 80 prisoners.
- B wing: Induction, reverse cohort unit (RCU; see Glossary of terms). It holds 167 prisoners.
- Jan Wilcox unit: Induction workers. It holds 17 prisoners, in double rooms and a dormitory. This is an annexe of B wing.
- C wing (landings 1 and 2): Workers, remand and sentenced prisoners. It holds a maximum of 138 prisoners.
- C wing (landings 3 and 4): Second-stage integrated drug treatment system. It holds a maximum of 165 prisoners.
- D wing (landings 1, 2 and 3): Workers, remand and sentenced prisoners. It holds a maximum of 180 prisoners.
- D wing (landing 4): Incentivised substance-free living unit. It holds a maximum of 64 prisoners, all in single rooms
- E wing (landings 2 and 3): Workers, remand and sentenced prisoners. It holds a maximum of 91 prisoners
- E wing (landing 4): Elizabeth Fry unit (EFU) and off-wing workers. It holds a maximum of 55 prisoners. The EFU supports those with learning difficulties and those engaging with in-reach
- Health care unit: Holds a maximum of 17 inpatients.
- Conibeere unit: Detoxification/stabilisation unit and RCU. It holds a maximum of 55 prisoners.
- First night centre: Holds a maximum of 36 prisoners.
- Segregation unit: 18 single cells.