HM Prison Feltham

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HMP Feltham
Location Feltham, London
Security class Juveniles/Young Offenders
Population 762 (as of February 2009)
Opened 1910
Managed by HM Prison Services
Governor Cathy Robinson
Website Feltham at

HM Prison Feltham (more commonly known as Feltham Young Offenders Institution) is a prison for male juveniles and Young Offenders Institution, located near the town of Feltham within the London Borough of Hounslow, in west London, England. Feltham Prison is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.


The original Feltham institution was built after 1857 and opened on 1 January 1859[1] as an Industrial School and was taken over in 1910 by the Prison Commissioners as their second Borstal institution. The existing building opened as a Remand Centre in March 1988.[2]

The current institution was formed in 1991 as a result of a merger between Feltham Borstal and the Ashford Remand Centre. It is managed directly by Her Majesty's Prison Service using crown constable prison officers, rather than management being contracted out to a private firm.

In recent years the Institution has been repeatedly criticised in reports for allegedly having a climate of racism amongst certain officers. The reports follow in the wake of the murder of Zahid Mubarek by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart on the day Mubarek was due to be released.[3][4] The prison also has a notorious reputation for violent assaults both inside and outside of the prison service. Proposals made to distance HMP Feltham from its reputation included the suggestion of renaming it to 'HMP Bedfont Lakes'. However this proposition has met little support.[5]

An inspection by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons was made in May 2005. The 2005 Report highlighted the progress made and praised the effective reception and induction procedures, the Outreach Team that deal with self-harm issues and the measures in place to deal with race relations issues. Voluntary sector work takes place within Feltham with a full-time voluntary sector co-ordinator managing the 25 plus agencies operating within Feltham.

Another inspection was made in July 2013 which was critical of what was considered "an excessive use of force" by prison staff in some incidents which had taken place in 2012 and "unacceptably high levels of violence" in the institution. The Howard League for Penal Reform said that the report revealed the prison to be a "frightening, violent, ineffective and astoundingly costly institution."[6]

On 4 September 2013, the Ministry of Justice announced that it was undertaking a feasibility study on replacing the existing buildings at Feltham with a new larger adult prison and youth detention centre.[7]

A 2014 inspection of the prison found that progress had been made in some areas but there were still some major concerns such as levels of violence remaining high, although with fewer incidents than previously, and prisoners having a lack of activities available and being kept locked up in cells for long periods.[8]

The prison today

Young adults and juveniles occupy different residential units. Each residential unit is named after a bird. Units housing young offenders hold approximately 60 prisoners. Units housing juveniles hold 30 prisoners. Almost all the juvenile rooms are for single occupation. There is a mixture of double and single accommodation for young offenders (mostly double). All rooms have integral sanitation and TV and all areas operate the IEP scheme (incentives and earned privilege scheme).

The prison's regime includes education (full/part-time), workshops, vocational training in the construction industry, farms and gardens, works, and NVQs. Various types of offending behaviour groups are available. Other features include the use of voluntary agencies, one-to-one teaching, substance misuse work, and pre-release courses.

Notable and former inmates

In popular culture

  • Feltham Prison is the subject of the Hard-Fi track "Feltham Is Singing Out".
  • Grime artist JME references Feltham in his track "Tottenham".


  1. "Providing for children: Feltham Industrial School". City of London. Retrieved 2014-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Report rebukes youth jail". BBC News. 11 November 2000.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "'Widespread racism' at facility". BBC News. 22 December 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. [1] Archived November 23, 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Nicholas Cecil Mark Blunden (2013-07-29). "Feltham young offenders institution to be replaced with adult prison - London - News - London Evening Standard". Retrieved 2013-09-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Salman Butt and Pakistan bowlers jailed for no-ball plot". BBC News. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links