HMP Hull is in Kingston upon Hull, in Yorkshire, and is about 2 miles outside of the city centre. It is a category B, men’s, local prison. The term ‘local’ simply means that this particular prison holds people on remand to the local courts.

A little bit of history

Hull prison was originally built in 1870, and housed both male and female prisoners. The original part of the prison has a classic Victorian design. A major expansion in 2002 made the prison more modern, and added new wings, a gymnasium and a multi faith centre. In January 2013, the older parts of the prison were ordered to close by the Ministry of Justice, but then reopened in April 2014 due to the requirement of more spaces.

Back in 1934, when the prison held both male and female prisoners, A woman called Ethel Major was executed. She was the one and only woman to be executed there, and was convicted of the murder of her husband.

In 1976 over 100 prisoners were involved in a huge 3-day riot, a protest over staff brutality. On 3RD September 1976, the riot ended peacefully, but there was a huge amount of damage to the prison, so much in fact, the prison was closed for an entire year in order to carry out repairs. There were also countless legal issues regarding the riots and the following disciplinarily proceedings. The estimated cost of the repairs was around £3.5 million.

Recent stories in the news

8th May 2020 – HMP Hull was praised by the media regarding their route of dealing with COVID. Prisoners are being kept in solitary confinement, however there are no reported cases within Hull prison.

1st May 2020 – Hull prisoner facing multiple sex abuse charges dies before trial.

6th March 2020 – Police and sniffer dogs are seen outside HMP Hull as part on an ‘ongoing operation’

11th December 2019 – Prisoner is left with a ‘deformed face’ after a fight at HMP Hull.

30th October 2019 – A young man dies in his cell after taking prescription drugs in order to lose weight.

22nd August 2019 – Levels of violence are reported as high at HMP Hull, despite being part of the government scheme ‘The 10 prisons project’, which aims to reduce drug use and violence within prisons.

Famous inmates

Charles Bronson has spent time in many UK prisons, including Hull, and is now housed at HMP Woodhill. This prison based celebrity has written many books, and won awards for his work.

Paul Sykes was a British heavyweight boxer, weightlifter, writer and debt collector. He spent much of his adult life in prison, and was released from HMP Hull in 1990, just before the filming of Paul Sykes: At Large, a documentary about his life. Sykes passed away in hospital in 2007.

Robert Maudsley was a serial killer responsible for the murder of 4 people, with 3 murders happening in prison. He gained the nick name ‘Hannibal the cannibal’ after allegedly eating part of a victims brain after killing them. He is now 40 years into solitary confinement in special cell within the basement of HMP Wakefield.

Tommy Robinson, the far-right activist, spent a short time in HMP Hull, where he says he was treated well, before being moved to HMP Onley.

Opportunities for prisoners

Prisoners are employed within the workshops, kitchens, gardens and waste management departments. There is also ample education in English, Maths, cookery, woodwork and graphics available to prisoners.

On entry to the prison, new prisoners are given a 25 page detailed ‘prisoners handbook’, this handy guide explains everything a prisoner needs to know about their time in HMP Hull. It shows the educational courses available, the rules of the prison, and the rewards for following said rules. There is even a timetable for the typical day, so that prisoners are kept informed.

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