HM Prison Frankland
HM Prison Frankland is one of the most infamous high-security men’s prisons in the United Kingdom. Located in the village of Brasside in County Durham, England, Frankland has earned a notorious reputation over the decades for housing some of Britain’s most dangerous and high-profile criminals.
A Long History of Housing Hardened Criminals
Frankland first opened its doors in 1983 as a state-of-the-art maximum security prison. The original design consisted of four cell blocks, each holding 108 prisoners in single cells. Additional cell blocks were added in 1998, boosting the prison’s capacity to over 800 inmates.
Right from the start, Frankland established itself as a holding facility for the nation’s most violent, unpredictable and infamous prisoners. Many of these criminals have been convicted of horrific murders, rapes, terrorist activities and organized crime.
Notorious Nicknames for an Infamous Prison
Due to the sheer number of convicted murderers, sex offenders and terrorists kept within its walls, Frankland has earned several foreboding nicknames. It is often referred to as “Monster Mansion” and “The Jail that Jack Built” in reference to the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, who was imprisoned there for many years.
The Worst of the Worst Call Frankland Home
As a Category A prison, Frankland houses only the most dangerous adult male prisoners. Typical inmates include those serving life sentences, sentences longer than four years for serious crimes, and those on high-risk remand.
Over the years, some of Britain’s most notorious criminals have called Frankland home, including:
- Serial killers like Harold Shipman, Peter Sutcliffe and John Straffen
- Infamous gangsters like Charles Bronson and Curtis Warren
- High-profile sex offenders like Colin Pitchfork and Sidney Cooke
- Terrorists like Thomas Mair and Kamel Bourgass
Today, Frankland houses several household names who have committed horrifying crimes. Some current inmates are:
- Levi Bellfield, murderer of Millie Dowler
- Michael Adebolajo, Lee Rigby’s killer
- Ian Huntley, murderer of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
- Thomas Mair, killer of MP Jo Cox
- Wayne Couzens, Sarah Everard’s killer
Bleak Facilities Reflect Harsh Conditions
The austere facilities at Frankland reflect the bleak existence of a maximum security prison. The cell blocks are imposing edifices of concrete and steel. Each one houses over 100 inmates in small, sparse single cells.
Prisoners have access to a health center, education programs, workshops, a library, gym and visits center. However, privileges are extremely limited for these dangerous criminals. Most of their time is spent isolated in their cells.
A Hotbed of Violence, Extremism and Corruption
Frankland has been plagued by many controversies over corruption, violence, gang activity, drug use and extremism. There have been several major riots and protests. Inmates often fashion weapons and attack each other or staff.
Gang leaders try to continue running their criminal enterprises from inside. Radicalization and extremist recruitment is an ongoing issue. Drugs are smuggled in by corrupt guards and prisoners’ contacts on the outside.
An Enduring Legacy of Housing Hardcore Criminals
While rehabilitation efforts exist, most inmates at Frankland are hardened lifetime criminals. For them, daily life is a bleak and highly regimented existence locked away from society. The future of Frankland is unclear, but it will likely continue housing the nation’s most dangerous prisoners for years to come. Its notorious reputation endures as Britain’s premier facility for the worst of the worst.
Q: When was HM Prison Frankland built?
A: Frankland was constructed and opened in 1983 in County Durham, England.
Q: What type of criminals are housed at Frankland Prison?
A: Frankland houses Category A adult male prisoners including violent offenders, murderers, rapists, terrorists, organized crime leaders and dangerous sex offenders.
Q: Why is Frankland called the “Monster Mansion”?
A: This nickname refers to the many infamous murderers and sex offenders that have been imprisoned there such as Peter Sutcliffe, Harold Shipman and Colin Pitchfork.
Q: Has anyone ever escaped from Frankland?
A: Yes, there have been a few rare escapes from the maximum security Frankland over the years, but escapees are usually quickly captured.
Q: What kind of facilities and activities exist at Frankland Prison?
A: Facilities include cell blocks, a health center, education and workshops, library, gym and visits center. Activities are very limited for prisoners due to the high security.