Hollesley Bay (HM Prison)

Hollesley Bay (HM Prison)

Infobox HM Prison
name = HMP Hollesley Bay

size =
caption =
opened = 1938
type = Adult Male/Category D
figures = 330 (January 2007)
location = Woodbridge, Suffolk
governor = Declan Moore
prisonid = 441

Hollesley Bay is a prison located near Woodbridge in the county of Suffolk in England and is used to house Category D prisoners.

Hollesley Bay began in 1887 as a colonial college training those intending to emigrate. The prison had housed a labour colony for the London unemployed. The land was originally purchased by Joseph Fels, an American soap-manufacturing millionaire and friend of George Lansbury, the prominent Christian Socialist who was also a leading member of the Poplar Board of Guardians. In 1905 Fels transferred the land to the London Unemployed Fund, who in turn handed it over to the Central Unemployed Body for London. Subsequently it was taken over by London County Council.

There was a number of similar labour colonies across Britain. Their aim was to train unemployed people for work, with a view to helping them escape pauperism. Hollesley Bay was typical in that it mainly involved exposing its inmates to a period of work either on agricultural tasks or in the kitchens and other relatively unskilled activities. There was a short-lived strike among the inmates in May 1922, partly sparked by dissatisfaction over the inmates' levels of pay. It was said to hold around 280 men in 1923, rising to 366 in the late 1920s, and falling to around 200 in 1934. London County Council decided to dispose of the site in 1938.

In 1938 the Prison Commission purchased the site for use as a Borstal. A major expansion to place in 1982 with the opening of Warren Hill a 285 place secure unit. In 1983 Hollesley Bay became a Youth Custody Centre this replaced the borstal system. This in turn was repaced by Young Offenders Institution in 1988. In 2002, the old borstal site became mainly for the use of minimum security adult offenders.

Hollesley Bay gained wide but brief international attention in July 2003 when Jeffrey Archer was released from the prison after completing half of his four year sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice. The Seven Deadly Sins - a rock band based at the prison - issued a tribute single to coincide with Archer's release.

Hollesley Bay was the largest prison farm in the British prison system. The Prison farm was sold in 2006. The Prison service retains only a small land holding.

The prison has been criticised for the apparently large number of escapes [cite web|url=http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-12-06b.169091.h|title=Hollesley Bay Prison: Prisoners Escape|date=6 December 2007|accessdate=2008-04-17] , which has led to the nickname Holiday Bay [cite news|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/oct/18/ukcrime.archer|date=18 October 2002|title=Archer moved to open jail in 'Holiday Bay'|publisher=The Gaurdian|author=Alan Travis|accessdate=2008-04-17]


* Field, J. Learning Through Labour: Training, unemployment and the state, 1890-1939, University of Leeds, 1992, ISBN 0-900-960-48-5

External links

* [http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/prisoninformation/locateaprison/prison.asp?id=441,15,2,15,441,0|Hollesley Bay] HM Prison website.

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