“I’ve just got a job as a prison officer in a category B prison… but what does category B mean?” In England and Wales, prisoners are categorised based on:
“I’ve just got a job as a prison officer in a category B prison… but what does category B mean?”
In England and Wales, prisoners are categorised based on:
Male prisons are organised into 4 categories
These prisons are either local or training prisons.
These prisons are training and resettlement prisons; most prisoners are located in a category C. They provide prisoners with the opportunity to develop their own skills so they can find work and resettle back into the community on release.
Category D – open prisons
These prisons have minimal security and allow eligible prisoners to spend most of their day away from the prison on licence to carry out work, education or for other resettlement purposes. Open prisons only house prisoners that have been risk-assessed and deemed suitable for open conditions.
Women and young adults
Females and young adults who’re considered high risk are categorised as ‘restricted status’, meaning they can only be held in a closed prison. In exceptional cases, women and young adults may be held in a high security prison (category A).
Young Offender Institution (YOI)
These prisons house prisoners aged between 18 to 21.
Does a prisoner stay in the same category throughout their sentence?
Prison staff assess prisoners when they’re first sentenced and also throughout their time in prison, to identify whether or not they’re still in the right prison category. If the prisoners’ risks are assessed as sufficiently raised or lowered, prison staff can take action to transfer them to the more appropriate security prison.
If a prisoners’ sentence is:
- between 1 year and 4 years, they’ll be assessed every 6 months
- more than 4 years, they’ll be assessed every year until the last 2 years of their custodial sentence, when they will be assessed every 6 months
- in a category A prison, prison staff work with the Prison Service Head Office to check security
- in a category D prison, then prisoners will not need to be recategorised unless their risks have changed
Can a prisoner appeal against their category?
If a prisoner is unhappy with their re-categorisation after their assessment, they can appeal by putting in a complaint through the prison complaint system which is carried out by the prison itself. The prison staff are then responsible for providing the reasons behind their decision.
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Our posts are for prison officer applicants and those interested in careers within the
Category c prison