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Old 08-05-2005, 07:31 AM
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Arrow HMP Birmingham - UK


A Victorian local prison built in 1849 for adult male prisoners it serves the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts of Birmingham, Stafford and Wolverhampton and the Magistrates’ Courts of Burton, Cannock, Litchfield, Rugeley, Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth.

Recently the prison has undergone a period of considerable change as a result of a multi-million pound investment programme by the Prison Service. 450 additional prisoner places have been added together with new workshops, educational facilities, a new healthcare centre and gymnasium as well as extensions and improvements to existing facilities. The prison is now well resourced and equipped to provide for the 1402 prisoner population.

This investment in Birmingham provides the springboard to further develop our services to prisoners and the community by ensuring decent and humane conditions with enhanced opportunities for prisoners to develop their skills and prepare themselves for release.

Address:Winson Green Road
B18 4AS

Tel: 0121 345 2500
Fax: 0121 345 2501
Governor: Mike Shann

Type of Accommodation: Cells

Operational Capacity: 1402 as of 10th April 2005

Reception Criteria:
HM Prison Birmingham holds adult male prisoners, both convicted and unconvicted. The prison serves the Birmingham court circuit and its primary role is the holding of remand and trial prisoners. The prison does have 4 sentenced wings holding both Category B and Category C prisoners. The prison also has a small population of retained Category D’s. There is no set allocation criteria. The prison does not have a Lifer Unit.

Birmingham is a local prison with workshop places for 360 prisoners. The work and training is varied and includes CIT courses in bricklaying, plumbing, painting and decorating plus carpentry and joinery. Other work and training available includes forklift truck training, industrial cleaning, wiring loom manufacture, Aramark canteen packing, textiles, charity workshops and contract services. The Education Department provides full and part courses within 2 Education Departments for approximately 170 prisoners.

However, there is also a large outreach provision involving the vulnerable wing, Day Care Centre and Workshops. Courses available consist of basic/key skills, information technology, social and life skills, business skills, creative and performing arts, NVQ barbering and distance learning/Open University study. Prisoners have the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications on all courses.The education provision operates for 50 weeks per year from Monday to Friday and is managed by Dudley College.

The education staff consists of an Education Manager, 2 Deputy Managers, 3 Administrators, 6 Curriculum Leaders, 12 Lecturers and approximately 30 sessional staff.

Birmingham has an active Resettlement Unit which concentrates on housing and employment issues, using extensive links with the outside community. It has the services of a full-time Job Centre Plus worker and Benefits Agency staff provide advice clinics for prisoners on a fortnightly basis. It also has an extensive network of voluntary agencies who provide support to prisoners.

The CONNECT Project provides motivational courses for prisoners supported by mentors. The Prison Library Service is provided by Birmingham Libraries. All prisoners have weekly timetabled access to the Library and sessions last for 45 minutes. The Library is staffed by a chartered Librarian, 2 Library Assistants and 4 full-time Library Officers. There is an extensive legal collection, most of which is available for loan, and facilities for independent learners. The stock is wide-ranging with special collections of employment, health, community information, ESOL, and Basic Skills materials. A strong emphasis on reader development ensures that all prisoners have the opportunity to widen their reading experience. A resource center is being developed.

Gymnasium and sports:
Physical Education is provided for 52 weeks per year on a daily basis over a 7 day period and during the evenings over 5 days. The PE that is provided falls into several categories including those with special needs, full/part time, recreational PE, coached sports and games, generic preparation for work and substance treatment unit.

There are a number of sports and sports related subjects that are covered by the programme from basic skills to NVQ level 2 in Sport and Recreation. The courses and certification are provided at differing levels offering the opportunity for progression and range from personal performance awards to nationally recognised vocational training. At present the gymnasium are an ASDAN, Open College Network, Approved CSLA Centre and have registered with Loughborough University for distance learning. In addition to this we are currently applying for approval to become an F.A. First for Sport Qualification centre, YMCA and a Duke of Edinburgh approved centre.

The department have extremely strong links with other regime providers such as the Chaplain, Healthcare, Resettlement and in particular Education that provide 5 classroom sessions per week and deliver City & Guilds and OCN qualifications in citizenship and working with others. Community links are established with a local special needs centre that attend the gym on a weekly basis.

There are 5 full-time Chaplains (Roman Catholic, Church of England, Free Church and Muslim). There are also part-time staff (Roman Catholic, Church of England, Free Church, Sikh, Buddist and Hindu).

Birmingham has a very diverse Chaplaincy Team offering a wide range of pastoral care/support to prisoners and staff.

The prison operates the Listener Scheme (normally between 20-30 prisoners involved as listeners) for those prisoners deemed to be at risk from suicide or self-harm. It also has an Insider Team who work on the First Night Centre. The Enhanced Thinking Skills Programme is delivered (5 courses per year).

HMP Birmingham has type-3 Health Care Centre status which provides 24-hour cover. There are 30 in-patient beds available. A mental health in-reach service operates. Provision of health care will be taken over by the local Primary Care Trust in April 2004.

Drugs strategy:
All prisoners are interviewed on reception by a qualified drugs worker to assess substance mis-use needs. Birmingham employs 20 CARAT (Counselling, Advice, Referral and Throughcare) workers and a full-time team leader to deliver these assessments. Prisoners with specific needs are more fully assessed and treatment referrals are made.

Voluntary testing is available to prisoners who wish to demonstrate they are free from drugs. The prison delivers the Short Duration Drug Programme. The course is Prison Officer led with in-put from the CARATS and Resettlement Teams. Each course caters for 12 prisoners and 10 courses are run per year. The Detox Unit (J Wing) holds up to 30 prisoners who are withdrawing from drugs. A full range of treatments are used, including subutex and auricular acupuncture.

Visiting Information

Visiting information for Birmingham can be seen below:

Social Visits:
Mon: 09.30-11.45, 14.00–15.00, 15.15–16.15
Tue: 09.30-11.45, 14.00–15.00, 15.15–16.15 & 18.30–20.30
Wed: 09.30-11.45, 14.00–15.00, 15.15–16.15 & 18.30–20.30
Thu: 09.30-11.45, 14.00–15.00, 15.15–16.15 & 18.30–20.30
Fri: 09.15-10.15, 10.15-11.45, 14.00-15.00 & 15.15–16.15
Sat: 09.15-10.15, 10.15-11.45, 14.00-15.00 & 15.15–16.15
Sun: 10.30-11.45, 14.00-15.00 & 15.15–16.15

Booking Information:
Bookings can be made by direct line telephone – 0121 345 2710, available Monday to Friday between 09.00-1200 and 13.15 and 17.00. Alternatively, email hmpbirminghambookedvisits@hmps.gsi.gov.uk.

Additional Information:
All visitors are requested to arrive 30 minutes before the start of their visit and to bring with them some form of photographic identity, ie, driving licence, passport, etc.

All visitors should report to the Visitors’ Centre before arriving at the prison. The Centre is closed between 12.00-13.00 and 16.45–17.45 hours.

All children must be supervised at all times. Visitors with babies are allowed to bring 2 nappies, one plastic baby bottle (containing milk or juice), one jar of baby food (with the lid seal still intact) and one plastic spoon.

Only loose change for the vending machines and car keys are allowed into the prison. All other property must be left in the lockers provided in the Visitors’ Centre.

Official Visits
Mon: 09.30–10.15, 10.15–11.00, 11.00–11.45, 13.45–14.30, 14.30–15.15, 15.15–16.00 & 16.00–16.30
Tue: 09.30-10.15, 10.15-11.00, 11.00-11.45, 13.45-14.30, 14.30-15.15, 15.15-16.00 & 16.00-16.30
Wed: 09.30-10.15, 10.15-11.00, 11.00-11.45, 13.45-14.30, 14.30-15.15, 15.15-16.00 & 16.00-16.30
Thu: 09.30-10.15, 10.15-11.00, 11.00-11.45, 13.45-14.30, 14.30-15.15, 15.15-16.00 & 16.00-16.30
Fri: 09.30-10.15, 10.15-11.00, 11.00-11.45, 13.45-14.30, 14.30-15.15, 15.15-16.00 & 16.00-16.30
Booking Information:

Bookings can be made through the booking line, 0121 345 2565 available from 09.00–12.00 and 13.30–16.30 hours. Alternatively, email hmpbirminghamlegalvisits@hmps.gsi.gov.uk.

Additional Information:
Additional time can be booked on request. Official identification will be required. Special requests, in writing, must be received to bring in tape recorders, lap-top computers, cameras, etc. 48-hours notice of any cancellation would be appreciated. Letter of authority required for all Police visits.

How to get there:
  • Take a train to New Street Station NOT Birmingham International. The prison is approximately 5 miles from Birmingham New Street Train Station. From there the journey can be completed either by taxi or by bus.
  • Bus number 101 to Lodge Road from the City Centre.
  • From the north and north west: M6 to Junction 8. Leave and join the M5 southbound. Leave M5 at Junction 1. Turn left onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the fifth set of road traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.From the north eastTo the A38 and continue down the ‘Aston Expressway’ – A38 (M). Turn off second left, up the slip road to Dartmouth Circus (a large roundabout). Turn right taking the third exit (signposted A41 West Bromwich). Continue through 2 sets of road traffic lights along New John Street West. At the roundabout take the third exit down to Hockley Circus. At the flyover turn right onto the A41 towards West Bromwich. Continue through several sets of traffic lights and turn left onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.
  • From the south east: M6 to Junction 8. Onto M6 southbound to Junction 1. Turn left onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the fifth set of road traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.
  • From the south west: M5 to Junction 1. Turn right onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the fifth set of road traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.
  • There is a visitors’ car park with provision for disabled drivers.
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