November 30th 2019
8pm - 3am
£55.99 Per Person
Secure your place with a £15 deposit
Ashwell Prison was constructed on the site of a World War II US army base (home to part of the 82nd Airborne Division), and first opened in 1955 as an open prison for adult male prisoners. In October 1987 it was converted to an Adult Male Category C establishment.
In 2003 Ashwell Prison hit the headlines after four prisoners went on a wrecking spree, damaging £10,000 worth of office equipment, computers and windows. The trouble started when an officer found an inmate had been drinking alcohol in his cell. Despite this incident Ashwell achieved Resettlement Stage 1 accreditation in the same year.
A 2005 inspection report of Ashwell cited concerns about prisoners' vulnerability, race relations and the quality of work and training at the prison. In the same year an inmate at the prison escaped from guards while receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The prisoner was recaptured days later.
In July 2008 a new £6m wing with an additional 64 cells was opened at Ashwell Prison. The new wing increased the overall capacity of the prison to 619 inmates.
A major riot at Ashwell Prison began on 11 April 2009. During the riot, a three-mile police perimeter was put in place, which extended to the edges of Oakham. Several prisoners were evacuated from the prison. Trouble started on Saturday 11 April at approximately 0100 BST and a fire broke out at the prison during the afternoon. The riot was successfully brought under control at 2245 BST that day. The operation launched by authorities in response to the riot was called Operation Tornado which saw the introduction of specialist riot trained prison staff. Three prisoners were injured and 75% of the prison was made uninhabitable. The riot started when a prisoner, serving a three-year sentence, confronted staff and refused to return to his room. He began to cause damage and was joined by others. The unrest spread quickly throughout the prison and approximately 400 prisoners are thought to have participated.
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