Downview (HM Prison)

Downview (HM Prison)
HMP Downview
Opened 1989
Management HM Prison Service
Prison type Adult Female/Closed
Prisoner figures 358 (January 2006)
Location Banstead, Surrey
Governor Louise Spencer

HM Prison Downview is a women's closed category prison. Downview is located on the outskirts of Banstead in Surrey, England (overlooking Banstead Downs), and is immediately adjacent to the southern boundary of Belmont in Greater London. The prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service, and is situated in close proximity to High Down Prison for men.



Downview was converted from a former nurses' home of The Royal Marsden Hospital and opened in 1989 as a Category C Male Prison.

In 1992 HMP Downview saw the establishment of the UK's first intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme. The programme was established by RAPt (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) and was opened by the actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, who remains a patron of the trust.

In September 2001 Downview changed its role to a "closed" prison for adult women, due to increased demand for places at women's prisons in the UK.[1] A year later one of the prison's chaplains resigned after claims that he'd demanded sexual favours from inmates in exchange for communion wine.[2]

In December 2004 a 16 bed juvenile unit opened at Downview for young female offenders (both remand and convicted) aged from 15-18 in partnership with the Youth Justice Board.

In April 2006 the PRIME project was launched at Downview, which is a radio and media station inside the prison. Prisoners can achieve a BTEC qualification for completing the course.

The prison today

Downview Prison holds adult Sentenced Female prisoners and convicted and remanded female juveniles. The prison holds approximately 50% foreign nationals, many of whom are of Jamaican and Nigerian. Downview is divided into 4 Wings, A,B,C,D (D wing is a resettlement Wing), and the Juvenile Unit. All wings have single cell accommodation with in-cell electricity.

The prison offers vocational training courses and NVQs for inmates. The resettlement wing provides opportunities for inmates to work and receive education outside the prison.

Notable former inmates


External links

Coordinates: 51°20′18″N 0°11′17″W / 51.3384°N 0.1881°W / 51.3384; -0.1881

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