A history of Hull Prison
Hull Prison is to partially close, as part of plans to save millions of pounds each year from the cost of running jails.
A written ministerial statement issued by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said: “Our strategy for the custodial estate is to ensure that we have sufficient places to meet the demand of the courts whilst securing best value for money for the taxpayer."
HMP Hull is a Victorian prison which opened in 1870 to hold both men and women. It was built on the panoptical principal, whereby all the wings split off from a central point, to enable the Chief Warder to view the entire prison.
Ten people were executed at the prison between 1902 and 1934. The last, Ethel Major, was executed weeks after being convicted of murdering her husband Arthur, by lacing his corned beef with poison strychnine.
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She was the only woman to be hanged at Hull Prison.
In the years that followed HMP Hull, located two miles east of the city centre, underwent a number of changes. In 1939 it was used as a military prison and later a civil defence depot. In 1950 it re-opened as a closed male borstal and in 1969, after extensive security work, became one of the first maximum security dispersal prisons.
In 1976 a five-day riot broke out which would see the prison put out of use for almost a year. The disturbance, which erupted on August 31, saw around 100 prisoners protest against alleged staff brutality.
Prisoners climbed on to the roof and began hurling slates at passers-by.
Debris was also thrown at firemen called to attend the first of a series of fires that was started during the protest.
An inquiry found it to be the most serious incident involving loss of control since the Dartmoor prison rebellion in 1932. It cost an estimated £3-4 million pounds to repair the damage.
In 1986 HMP Hull, then a maximum security dispersal prison, was removed from the dispersal system and assumed its current role as a male local prison/remand centre.
The prison was extensively refurbished in 2002 and the site expanded. The expansion included four new wings, a new healthcare centre, a new sports hall, a new multi-faith centre and refurbishment to other parts of the prison including the kitchen.
In 2011 an exhibition room ‘Within these Walls’ opened just outside the main prison complex. The exhibition included the register of executions as well as the details of the ten people executed at the prison.
Today HMP Hull holds category B adult and young adult males. It has 10 residential units including ones for vulnerable prisoners and prisoners convicted of sexual offences.