HMP The Mount is a Category C men’s prison located in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, England. Established in 1987, the prison has a capacity of 1,028 and is managed by HM Prison Services. The facility offers a variety of programs for the inmates, including education, workshops, and job skills training. However, the prison has faced challenges over the years, including drug issues, staff shortages, and violent incidents.
Security and Facility
HMP The Mount is designed to hold adult male Category C prisoners, which includes those who are considered less likely to escape but still require a secure environment. The facility has experienced a few breakouts, including a violent escape in 1994, and riots in 2017. It is important for visitors and inmates to be aware of these incidents and remain vigilant during their time at the prison.
Programs and Opportunities
The prison offers a range of activities and opportunities for inmates to engage in during their incarceration. These include full and part-time education, workshops, training courses, and working in the prison’s farms and gardens. HMP The Mount also operates a coffee roasting program called Redemption Roasters, which teaches inmates the skills needed to produce ground coffee.
Rehabilitation and Support
HMP The Mount has implemented several support programs to aid in the rehabilitation of its inmates. The prison offers listener groups, a community-based project aimed at keeping juveniles out of prison, job skills courses, and prisoner-led drug-free meetings. The facility has also partnered with Hertfordshire Highways for a metalwork, welding, and painting skills program where inmates repair damaged roadwork signs.
Challenges and Concerns
Despite the opportunities available to inmates, HMP The Mount has faced significant challenges over the years. Issues such as drug problems, staff shortages, and increasing violence have plagued the prison. In 2005, an inspection report condemned the facility for its out-of-control drug problem, and as of November 2016, the drug issue was still a “big concern” for the staff. Staff shortages have also contributed to the difficulties faced by the prison, with many leaving due to uncompetitive salaries and unfilled vacancies.
Following a difficult period, HMP The Mount has shown signs of improvement. As of 2018, the prison has developed robust plans to address issues and accelerate progress. The facility will have an additional 30 prison officers on duty by December, and a strengthened violence reduction strategy is being implemented. Furthermore, the prison is increasing purposeful activity, finding a new education provider, and appointing a dedicated manager to ensure proper care for its diverse population.
HMP The Mount has faced many challenges but is committed to providing a secure and rehabilitative environment for its inmates. The prison offers a variety of programs and opportunities for personal development and is working to address its ongoing issues. With the recent improvements and dedication to change, HMP The Mount is striving to become a safer and more productive facility for both inmates and staff.
Confidential Ex-inmate Reviews
During my time at HMP The Mount, I was fortunate to have the support of the prison’s listener groups, which helped me cope with the challenges of incarceration. The staff members I interacted with genuinely cared about my well-being and encouraged me to take advantage of the available programs. Although the prison had its share of issues, I am grateful for the support I received, which played a significant role in my rehabilitation.
I served three years at HMP The Mount, and my experience was a mixed bag. The facility provided some great opportunities, such as the metalwork and welding program, which taught me new skills that I plan to use after my release. However, the drug issues and occasional violence made my time there quite difficult. The prison is making efforts to improve, but more needs to be done to ensure a safe and productive environment for all inmates.