Frankland prison – Jail where prisoners like to complain

Frankland prison – Jail where prisoners like to complain

HM Prison Frankland is a Category A men’s prison located in the village of Brasside in County Durham, England.


Frankland holds male prisoners who are over 21 years old and whose sentence is four years or more, life sentences and high-risk remand prisoners. Prison accommodation is divided between wings, with wings A to D holding 108 inmates each, and wings F and G holding an additional 206. All cells are single occupancy.

FRANKLAND prison, which hosts some of the country’s most dangerous criminals, is the most complained about jail by inmates in the country

A Freedom of Information investigation has revealed the Prison and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) upheld 130 complaints made by inmates at the jail over the last three years.

The figure includes eight complaints for staff behaviour and accounted for 89% of all upheld grievances at prisons in the North.

One prisoner who wasn’t allowed to collect his lunch because he arrived at the servery after it had closed claimed the officer’s actions amounted to bullying and put in a complaint.

Child killer Ian Huntley and al-Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot are among the lifers at the jail at Brasside, near Durham. Soham murderer Huntley is having a cushy time in Frankland jail in County Durham. We learn he enjoys pizza and steaks, wallows in his notoriety, and boasts of the famous criminals who occupy neighbouring cells. He also ‘loves’ watching Manchester United matches on his prison TV

Former inmates

  • Charles Bronson – Often referred to in the British press as the “most violent prisoner in Britain”, just one of many prisons he has served in

  • Paul John Ferris – Scottish gangster

  • Michael Lupo – Serial killer (4 victims) Died in Frankland in 1995

  • Dominic Noonan – Gangster from Manchester – charged with the rape of a 15-year-old boy in Nov 2012 – Back in court April 22nd 2013

  • Harold Shipman – British doctor and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history by proven murders with 250+ murders being positively ascribed to him. Found dead by hanging in his cell in 2004

  • John Straffen –  British serial killer who was the longest-serving prisoner in British legal history. Straffen killed two young girls in the summer of 1951. Escaped from Broadmoor and killed another young girl. Died in Frankland in 2007

Current inmates

  • Dhiren Barot – Terrorist – In July 2007 Barot was admitted to Infirmary for 5 days after being badly injured by fellow inmates at HMP Frankland. For security reasons a news blackout of the incident was imposed while he was receiving treatment. It was later reported that Barot was treated for burns after two attacks. In the first attack boiling water was poured onto his back and a fight ensued, in the second attack another prisoner poured boiling oil over his head.Such attacks are called ‘juggings’

  • Ian Huntley – On 4 August 2002, Huntlry murdered two Ten English schoolgirls in the village of Soham, Cambridgeshire – minimum tarrif of 40 years

  • Michael Peter Cain – Cain was already serving a life sentence for a 1987 murder when he strangled and killed fellow inmate and child killer Leslie ‘Catweazle’ Bailey at Whitemoor Prison, in Cambridge, in 1993. Bailey was serving a long sentence for killing and sexually abusing seven-year-old Mark Tildesley, from Rose Court in Wokingham, in 1984 and the manslaughter of Jason Swift, who lived a children’s home in Islington in 1992.

  • Terry McVicar – Paedophile, who kidnapped a four-year-old girl from a Bradford playground and subjected her to prolonged sexual abuse

  • Peter Chapman – Known as the facebook killer. He is serving 35 years for the kidnap, rape and murder of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall

The POA union, which represents prison staff, stepped in to defend its members.

Glyn Travis, assistant secretary of the union, said that many complaints are spurious and there was a culture of lodging pointless gripes at Frankland.

Frankland was originally opened in 1980 with four wings each holding 108 in single cells. A further two wings opened in 1998 to an open gallery design to hold an additional 206. A specialist Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) unit opened at the prison in May 2004

More than 6,000 grievances were logged at the prison over a 12-month period in 2011 – an average of almost 17 a day – and complaints have been steadily on the rise since 2009.

Food, mail, property and phone calls are among their woes.

Mr Travis said the complaints upheld by the PPO were not evidence of bad practice at the jail.

He said: “I do not think eight complaints for staff behaviour in three years is a cause for concern when you consider the nature of the offenders prison staff are dealing with – around 1,000 prisoners, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“On average, eight prison staff are attacked in the country every day. It is a very difficult job and they are dealing with very dangerous people.

“Everybody should have the right to complain and it is right and proper that the PPO is there to investigate complaints.

“I think eight complaints for staff behaviour over three years is an excellent record.”

While Category A prisons, which house highly dangerous individuals such as terrorists, murderers and violent sexual offenders, generally attract more complaints than any other type of jail, a report by the PPO has shown how Frankland compares to the others with the same remit.

Over a five year period (2005 to 2010), the PPO upheld 121 complaints, the highest of any Category A jail in the country.

HMP Manchester (Strangeways) had 10 complaints upheld over five years.

Belmarsh had 28 upheld.

The PPO also rejected 327 lags’ complaints over the same period.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “We are determined to deal with prisoners’ issues quickly and efficiently.

“Seven out of 10 complaints made to the independent prisons and probation ombudsman by HMP Frankland prisoners between 2005-2010 were not upheld.

“Between 2010-2012 almost three quarters of complaints made against staff at the prison were rejected.”

Paedophiles attacked or have died in HM Frankland

Child killer Ian Huntley has throat slashed

Child rapist Mitchell Harrison disembowelled

Paedophile Lifer Kevin Whelan dies

Gerald Frank tried to smuggle 10 year old boy into prison for paedophile

Facebook killer Peter Chapman attacked

Andrzej Kunowski dies. He was jailed for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl

John Cairns dies – Cairns was jailed in 2001 after he admitted having sex with a seven-year-old girl and indecently assaulting another at his bedsit

DETAILS of the seven staff behaviour complaints at Frankland partially upheld by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman:

:: Prisoner complained about an offender supervisor who carried out his risk assessment form. The form, which takes into account whether a prisoner could be moved to a lower security jail, was completed two months after it was due. The ombudsman did not consider the delay particularly excessive but because it wasn’t finalised on time it upheld this aspect of the complaint.

:: Inmate complained he was being bullied after he was refused lunch because the canteen was closed after scheduled exercise. PPO found there was a clash between exercise time and serving of lunch but did not consider that the inmate had been bullied.

:: Prisoner claimed his newspaper was being delivered after other lags and he was being ‘targeted’. Ombudsman found there had been problems with delivering newspapers. The prison compensated the inmate.

:: Inmate complained he was unlocked late for gym and claimed officer was racially abusive towards him en-route, swore at him and banned him from the gym for a week. The PPO partially upheld complaint because no investigation had taken place but found the incident was ‘the complainant’s word against the officer’s’.

:: Lag seeing mental health nurse claimed officer tried to upset him by repeatedly looking through window. PPO found it was reasonable for the officer to check the nurse was OK. The PPO found no intent but that the prisoner was anxious and recommended healthcare staff were consulted before appointments made outside of the designated health centre.

:: Prisoner complained he was being bullied by an officer, claimed he was verbally abused, threatened with violence and locked in his cell longer. The PPO found the officer did use inappropriate terms ‘likely to be seen as demeaning’ but no other evidence of bullying. PPO recommended prison keep better records.

:: Prisoner complained about being given warning for using racist language. It was found the term he used was Jamaican slang, and while it was offensive there was no evidence it was racist. The following staff behaviour complaint was upheld by the PPO

:: Complaint upheld after prison officer caught on CCTV using an offensive word during an exchange with an inmate. The officer said the word was not directed at the inmate but acknowledged he should not have used it. Prison asked to send a letter of apology and action taken against the officer. The Ombudsman was satisfied the action taken was appropriate.