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.