General Information, Portland

Originally built in 1848 to hold convicted prisoners, Portland doubled in size following the acquisition of land from the Admiralty in 1910. From 1921 to 1983 it was a borstal. In April 2011, its role changed to an adult and young offender establishment. It is run by HMPS as part of the South West Region and has a capacity of 560, the #1 governor is Steve Hodson, who has been in charge since April 2017.


There are 7 house blocks:

  • Benbow – 89 places
  • Raleigh -89 places
  • Drake -79 places
  • Grenville -62 places, mainly young adults
  • Nelson -72 places, mainly young adults
  • Collingwood -35 places, first night and induction unit
  • Beaufort – 99 places
  • Care and separation unit (CSU)

Return to Portland

On Tuesday 24th March it was announced that all prisons in the UK would go into a "lock down" state, as a result on Covid19.  In simple terms it means that prisoners will be confined to their cells for the vast majority of each day, being unlocked only for meals and very limited exercise periods. All social visits are cancelled with immediate effect.

The prison staff will ensure that medical requirements will be met as per usual but there will be no "association periods" for the prisoners. Undoubtably this will be difficult and stressful for a number of prisoners, but the prison authorities are acting for the greater good of the majority of prisoners and staff.

Any establishment specific queries you may have should be directed to the prisons