General Information, HMP & YOI Holloway

Holloway is the largest female prison in Europe and is located in urban north London. Holloway opened in 1852 as a prison for men and women but became an all female prison in the early 20th century. Rebuilt during the 1970s and 1980s in a style designed to meet the perceived needs of women prisoners, it is a hybrid between a prison and a hospital. There are single and double rooms and multi-occupancy dormitories. About a third of the population are foreign national prisoners and around 5% are young women aged 18 to 20.  45%of the population are from black or minority ethnic groups, as are 46% of the staff. 


The accommodation is a mixture of small 4 bed dormitories and single cells.

  • A3 – First night centre
  • A4 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • A5 – Lifer unit
  • B3 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • B4 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • B5 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • C3 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • C4 – Pregnant women’s unit
  • C5 – Ordinary location residential unit
  • D3 – Opiate maintenance and recovery unit
  • D4 – Mother and baby unit
  • C1 – Mental health assessment unit (including day care)
  • D1 (also known as Ivor Ward) – Substance misuse unit
  • CSRU – Segregation unit
  • D0 – Enhanced/standard unit

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