• Prisons Handbook 2002 by Mark Leech and Deborah Cheney - cover image

Prisons Handbook 2002

Edited by Mark Leech and Deborah Cheney


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ISBN 9781872870168 Category: Tags: ,



This definitive annual work always attracts outstanding reviews for its scale, comprehensiveness, accuracy, clarity and reliability. It has the support of the director general of HMPS – and many serving governors, officers and prisoners contribute to it with current information. The handbook is quite simply the best day-to-day work that there is on prisons in England and Wales. It contains a detailed A to Z of the Prisons of England and Wales including this year, for the first time, ‘governor profiles’ (where supplied) plus nine further substantial sections dealing with virtually every aspect of imprisonment: law; human rights; prison regimes; minority rights and a host of other topics – including, new this year, sections on Prison Officers and Prison Governors and on Gay and Bi-sexual prisoners.

This magnificient edition is a ‘treasure trove’ of information in 700 pages with countless new additions covering an expanded range of topics including disability, education and training, work and pay, race relations, drugs and alcohol, incentives and earned privileges and human rights issues.

Everything from prison law to helpful organizations, private contractors to prison magazines, annual reports to foreign prisoners, drug-testing and VCT/CIT courses, working with the voluntary sector, race relations, disabled prisoners, work and pay… and so very much more

The year’s HMCIP reports summarised, along with every Parliamentary Question on prisons/YOIs, other key reports and events.

An updated and refined A-Z of Prison Establishments (including Key Officials) based on a 100 per cent return by prison governors – together with a six page colour map of prisons and YOIs in England and Wales (courtesy HMPS Internal Communications). A much expanded directory of organizations and resources (including resources on the Internet)

The penal process in detail, from reception into prison, regimes, communications, families, discipline and prisoners’ rights to release, discharge grants and social security benefits… plus annual prizewinners, recommended reading, and an extensive index.


Little wonder Martin Narey, Director General of HM Prison Service has described The Prisons Handbook as ‘excellent’, ‘invaluable’ and a frequent source of reference.


‘There could not be a better reference book’: Martin Narey, [then]Director General HM Prison Service (January 2002)

‘Highly recommended’: Criminal Practitioners Newsletter (Review of last edition)


Mark Leech is Chief Executive of UNLOCK, the National Association of Ex-Offenders (which he co-founded along with Bob Turney and the actor Stephen Fry in 1998) and a Prisoners’ Rights Consultant with Liverpool-based solicitors AS Law. He is an award-winning journalist and author and a regular commentator on prisons and imprisonment in the media, as well as lecturing on crime and punishment. Earlier he served almost 20 years in 62 of Britain’s prisons where his experiences made him a passionate, knowledgeable and enlightened spokesman for the reform of penal conditions and penal policy. His critically acclaimed autobiography, A Product of the System (Gollancz, now Cassell), was published in 1992 and his life story also features as one of several ‘Tales of Hope and Regeneration’ in Going Straight (Waterside Press, 1999).

Deborah Cheney having taken her BA at the Open University and her MA and PhD at Canterbury, is a Lecturer in Criminal Law and Penology at the University of Kent at Canterbury and Deputy Director of Kent Criminal Justice Centre. She is also a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Kent, a member of the Board of Visitors at HMP Canterbury and a patron of UNLOCK. Her involvement with prisoners, prisons policy and prison conditions dates from her work in the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office, and later as an Immigration Counsellor with the voluntary organization UK Immigrants Advisory Service. Additionally, as a voluntary Welfare Officer with the Kent Committee for the Welfare of Migrants, her duties have brought her into contact with prisons and prisoners. She has spoken widely on prison matters and visited prisons in Switzerland and Bermuda. Deborah Cheney co-founded the Penal Lexicon web-site, edited the National Journal of Members of the Association of Boards of Visitors, was the author of HM Prison Service’s first Foreign Prisoners’ Resource Pack and is co-author of Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Jordans, 1999). She is currently working on two further books on prisoners and prison matters.

Additional information

Weight460 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 17 mm


Waterside Press




Publication date




Place of origin

United Kingdom

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