HMP Holloway - London - August 2018
“HM Prison Holloway was a closed category prison for adult women and young offenders in Holloway, London, England, operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service. It was the largest women’s prison in western Europe until its closure in 2016. Until 1991, the Prison was staffed by Home Office appointed, female Prison Officers. However, The first ‘Male, basic grade’ Prison Officer to be posted to HMP Holloway in its history, was Prison Officer (Trg) Thomas Ainsworth, who joined the establishment direct from HMP College Wakefield in May 1991.
Holloway prison was opened in 1852 as a mixed-sex prison, but due to growing demand for space for female prisoners, particularly due to the closure of Newgate, it became female-only in 1903.
Holloway was used to imprison suffragettes including Constance Markievicz (imprisoned for her part in the Irish Rebellion) Charlotte Despard, Mary Richardson, Dora Montefiore, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, and Ethel Smyth.
After the death from suicide in January 2016 of inmate Sarah Reed, a paranoid schizophrenic being held on remand, the subsequent inquest in July 2017 identified failings in the care system. Shortly after Reed died, a report concluded she was unfit to plead at a trial.
Holloway Prison was completely rebuilt between 1971 and 1985 on the same site. The redevelopment resulted in the loss of the “grand turreted” gateway to the prison, which had been built in 1851; architectural critic Gavin Stamp later regretted the loss and noted that the climate of opinion at the time was such that the Victorian Society felt unable to object.
Holloway Prison held female adults and young offenders remanded or sentenced by the local courts. Accommodation at the prison was mostly single cells; however, there was also some dormitory accommodation. Holloway Prison offered both full-time and part-time education to inmates, with courses including skills training workshops, British Industrial Cleaning Science (BICS), gardening, and painting.
There was a family-friendly visitors’ centre, run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (pact), an independent charity.”
This is the rough layout of the prison.