Downview is a closed prison for women located in Sutton, Surrey. The prison opened in 1989 as a category C Male Prison, converted from the former nurses' home of Banstead Hospital.
In September 2001 Downview re-roled to a closed prison for adult women and in December 2004 a 16 bed juvenile unit (The Josephine Butler Unit) opened for young female offenders. Commissioning of this provision is currently being reviewed by the Youth Justice Board.
Tel: 020 8196 6300
Fax: 020 8196 6301
Governor: Jonathan French
Operational capacity: 355 as of 1st April 2013
Reception criteria: Adult Sentenced Female, Only part time Health Care cover. Not life sentenced prisoners.
Accommodation: Single cell accommodation with in-cell electricity. 4 Wings (A, B, C and D) and Juvenile Unit, all wings have in-cell electricity. D Wing serves as a resettlement unit. There is also a separate Care and Separation unit on site.
Social visits: Thursday, Saturday & Sunday afternoons.
HMP Downview is on the London Borough of Sutton / Surrey border close to the M25 and M23 and with good links to Sutton railway station. Since being absorbed into the Greater London Region, Downview is now integral to the development of the GLR’s Cluster for Women’s Prisons (Holloway, Send and Downview).
The characteristics of the population are varied and diverse with the majority of our prisoners originating from the London area or the South East of England. A significant number will however return to the West Country, Midlands and Wales with the percentage of discharges to Wales currently increasing. In addition, the prison has a significant population of foreign national prisoners (80 as of April 2013).
The prison’s ‘D Wing’ provides a 40-bed resettlement unit onto which prisoners progress once they have been categorised as suitable for open conditions and approved for release on temporary licence (ROTL). The unit provides a wide variety of opportunities for women to access work experience, further education and training on a daily basis in the outside community and this has resulted in many women securing excellent employment opportunities on release. This provision supports and promotes Downview’s focus on and commitment to providing prisoners with opportunities to support their effective resettlement.
There are clear links between the qualifications offered in the prison and the various progression routes to employment made available via Resettlement and National Careers Service.
Under OLASS 4, the current Education Contract commenced on November 1st 2012 and is held by ‘A4e’. The National Careers Service provider is Tribal who are subcontracted by Babcock International Group, with Library Services delivered by Surrey County Council. Learning & Skills provision is also delivered by Prison staff, St Giles Trust, Job Centre Plus, Pecan, London College of Fashion and, PE, Catering, The Media Project and NACRO.
The curriculum and training offer Includes: Catering, Business Administration, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Customer Services, Functional Skills, ITQ, ESOL, Personal and Social Development and Creative Studies. Provision is also made for the support of Distance Learning including Open University. All courses lead to nationally accredited qualifications.
Outside of the OLASS 4 provision for learning & skills, a number of valuable qualifications are offered within the prison’s work areas. For example, DHL offer an NVQ in Warehousing; St Giles Trust deliver an NVQ Level 3 in IAG (Information, Advice & Guidance) for peer mentors; in partnership with Carshalton College and ‘Media for Development’ the Media production facility offers BTEC Level 3 in Media Production. In addition, ‘Birds of Prey’ offer the ‘Lantra Awards’ for women working on the project.
Mon-Thurs: Unlock 08.00 – 12.30, 13.50 – 17.15, 18.00 – 19.00
Friday: Unlock 08.00 – 12.30, association 13.50 – 16.30
Sat & Sun: Unlock 08.30 – 12.00, 13.20 – 16.30