Brixton (HM Prison)

Infobox HM Prison
name = HMP Brixton


size =
caption =
opened = 1820
type = Adult Male/Local
figures = 798 (August 2008)
location = Brixton, London
governor = Paul McDowell
prisonid = 284

HM Prison Brixton is a local prison in Brixton, London, England.

The prison was originally built in 1820 and opened as the Surrey House of Correction, Brixton Prison was intended to house 175 prisoners. However, regularly exceeding its capacity supporting over 200 prisoners, overcrowding was an early problem and with its small cells and poor living conditions contributed to its reputation as one of the worst prisons in London (worsened when Brixton become one of the first prisons to introduce treadwheels in 1821).

Conditions for women were especially harsh as newly arrived female inmates were made to spend four months in solitary confinement and, following her introduction into the general prison population, would be required to maintain a condition of silent association. Female inmate were allowed over time to earn privileges, which included limited conversation, payment for labor, the right to receive letters and visitation rights.

Eventually the problem of overcrowding was addressed with the prison expanding to house over 800 prisoners and, in 1853, the British government converted Brixton into a women's correctional facility for women who preferred imprisonment rather than deportation to Australia (although female inmates who had become pregnant were also transferred to Brixton from Millbank Prison).

Conditions in the prison gradually improved during the mid-19th century as a nursery was opened in the prison for children under the age of four and, by 1860, inmates were allowed to keep their children until the end of their prison sentence. Brixton eventually became a military prison from 1882 until 1898 and remains a trial-and-remand prison for London and the Home Counties. Conditions inside the prison today are still grim, due to Crown Immunity, normal health and safety regulations are not binding, when the cell doors shut in the evenings all the wings in the communal areas are overrun with mice and rats. The footings for the treadmill remain and are visible and the former 'hanging ie execution suite' is now an enlarged cell with six beds.

Further reading

*Babington, Anthony. "The English Bastille: A History of Newgate Gaol and Prison Conditions in Britain, 1188-1902". New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971.
*Herber, Mark. "Criminal London: A Pictorial history from Medieval Times to 1939". Chichester, UK: Phillimore, 2002.

References

*Roth, Mitchel P. "Prisons and Prison Systems: A Global Encyclopedia". Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ISBN 0-313-32856-0

External links

* [http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/prisoninformation/locateaprison/prison.asp?id=284,15,2,15,284,0 Brixton Prison at HM Prison Service Website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brixton (disambiguation) — Brixton is an area of south London. Brixton is also used to refer to several buildings in that area*Brixton (HM Prison), the prison in the area. *Carling Academy Brixton, a large music venue. Other places called Brixton include: *Brixton, Devon,… …   Wikipedia

  • Brixton — Prison southeast of Plymouth, England; London, England slum; one of London’s largest prisons …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Brixton — infobox UK place country = England region= London population= official name= Brixton static static image caption= latitude= 51.463 longitude= 0.106 london borough= Lambeth constituency westminster= Streatham constituency westminster1= Vauxhall… …   Wikipedia

  • Brixton (hundred) — infobox historic subdivision Name= Brixton HQ= Brixton Status= hundred Start= in antiquity End= 1889 Replace= various, see text PopulationFirst= 409,504 PopulationFirstYear= 1861 PopulationLast= 825,155 PopulationLastYear= 1887 AreaFirst=… …   Wikipedia

  • prison — pris|on W2S2 [ˈprızən] n [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: Latin prehensio act of seizing , from prehendere; PREHENSILE] 1.) [U and C] a building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime, or while they are waiting to go to court… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • 1990 Strangeways Prison riot — The 1990 Strangeways Prison riot was a 25 day prison riot and rooftop protest at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England. The riot began on 1 April 1990 when prisoners took control of the prison chapel, and the riot quickly spread throughout… …   Wikipedia

  • 1981 Brixton riot — See also: 1981 England riots and Brixton Riots 1981 Brixton Riots Bloody Saturday Police block the access to the main area of rioting. Image: Kim Aldis …   Wikipedia

  • 1985 Brixton riot — The Brixton riot of 1985 started on 28 September in Lambeth in South London.[citation needed] It was the second major riot that the area had witnessed in the space of four years. It was sparked by the shooting of Dorothy Cherry Groce by police,… …   Wikipedia

  • Maze Prison escape — The Maze Prison escape (known to Irish republicans as the Great Escape) took place on 25 September 1983 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. HM Prison Maze (previously known as Long Kesh) was a maximum security prison considered to be one of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Newgate Prison — For the Irish prison of the same name, see Newgate Prison, Dublin. For the prison in East Granby, Connecticut, see Old Newgate Prison. Newgate, the old city gate and prison …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.