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What is a category c prison?

Updated July 19, 2017

Prison categorisation levels in the United Kingdom, such as Category C, are determined by the likelihood of offenders trying to escape and, if they did so, how big a risk they would present to the general public.

Defining Category C

A Category C unit houses prisoners who cannot be trusted to live in open conditions because of the fear of reoffending. However, these prisoners are determined to be relatively low-risk because they rarely have the means or the desire to actually plan an escape.

Prisoners in Category C prisons

Categorisation profiles are determined by previous criminal history and the type of offence a prisoner has been sentenced for. Typically, Category C prisoners will have previous convictions for acts of violence, sexual offences, arson or the supply of drugs. Any breaches of bail conditions in a previous three-year period also will warrant a Category C profile.

Category C prisons in the U.K.

The Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate found that the United Kingdom has 32 Category C prisons, and these units house approximately 10,000 offenders according to their report relating to control in Category C prisons. These facilities can vary in size with larger units holding up to 600 Category C prisoners.

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About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, Paul Miceli has been a professional writer since 2006. He has been published online by Ideate Media and Promiga and has a proven track record of producing informational articles and sales copy. Miceli is educated to U.K. "A-level" standard, continues to work as a paint sprayer and has more than 25 years of automotive body repair experience.