Sodexo Justice Services opened this purpose-built facility for women in 2004, marking a step-change in prison facilities for women in the UK.
HMP & YOI Bronzefield is a dynamic and forward-thinking women’s prison which accommodates a diverse and complex population of women from courts across the South of England.
The facility accommodates 572 women. Our accommodation comprises of four houseblocks housing approximately 130 women on each one.
Each wing has a servery unit for women to collect their food which they can choose to eat together on the wing or take back to their rooms. We provide telephones in each room which is integral in helping women to maintain their family ties.
We also provide a 17 bed healthcare facility, a care and separation unit and a mother and baby unit for 12 women and 13 babies up to the age of 18 months.
Life in prison
First nights in custody
When a woman first arrives at HMP & YOI Bronzefield she will go through the reception process.
In reception she will meet with a member of our reception staff to ascertain her needs and be searched prior to entering the main prison. A doctor and nurse will assess her welfare. She will also receive a meal and drink.
If the resident has any property with her this will be searched, any illicit articles, such as a mobile phone will be removed and stored for her until her release. She will have the opportunity to talk to one of our peer worker Listeners which is a branch of the Samaritans. After this she will be taken to her houseblock.
Once on the houseblock a peer worker will meet her to help settle her in to life at Bronzefield.
The following day the new reception will remain on the houseblock where she will begin the induction process. This includes meeting with various agencies to assess her needs.
She will have an orientation to prepare her for life in prison and she will have an education assessment to assess her educational needs. Following this she will commence a well-being week. If the woman needs to detox she will complete this first.
To maintain a stable and safe environment for the women where they can focus on rehabilitation and plan for their future, the women follow a ‘regime’.
The women are unlocked at 8am for breakfast and to receive any medication they may require. At 9am the women will go to their lessons or work.
We offer a variety of employment opportunities across the prison including catering and barista work, hair and beauty salon, gym, peer workers, chaplaincy orderlies, cleaning, arts workshops and more.
They will break for lunch at 12pm for two hours. In the afternoon they will return to their work location. At 4.30pm the women will return to their houseblocks for association and dinner before lock up at 6.45pm.
While here, women can earn money through their employment which they can use to purchase items on the canteen including toiletries, food and stationary. Family members and friends can send up to £50 at a time. To do so you will need to go to the following independent website: www.secure-payment-services.com.
To deposit money you will need to know:
- the name of the prison
- her name
- her prison number
- her date of birth
Release On Temporary License
When a resident reaches a certain time and status within her sentence she can be eligible for release on temporary license (ROTL).
This provides the woman the opportunity to obtain a job in the community, helping to prepare them for resettlement on release. We actively look for new ROTL opportunities both to strengthen links with the local community and maximise the rehabilitative support we can offer the residents.
Residents may also find their own ROTL opportunities through contacts with family and friends. Each resident and ROTL placement will be thoroughly risk assessed to ensure suitability.