Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Isle of Man: TV series goes behind the walls of Britain's smallest prison

The Isle of Man, with a population of 85,000 has its own legal system and prison regime.

A new documentary series is going behind the walls of a most extraordinary little prison - on the Isle of Man - where doing time is unlike anywhere else in Britain.

The prison has some of the lowest reoffending rates in Europe - purportedly due to its progressive penal policies.

Because of the island’s small population many of the prisoners and the staff already know each other.

The world's gone soft, it’s all nicey nicey. They come in here bag of bones and they’ll go out fit as a fiddle built back up. They’ve got no worries about bills, don’t have to worry about the kids, they haven’t got to worry about the wife, they play pool, they play darts, they smoke, they buy loads of sweets.

– Prison head of security Margo

The series focuses on staff and inmates, including characters like Governor Bob, who uses his wealth of experience behind bars to implement his progressive ideas, hardline head of security Margo, personal shopper to the prisoners George ‘Stores’, and Jonesy the singing prison officer.

Inmates with convictions from fraud to robbery, drug dealing to cyber crime, mix together with staff at all levels from Governor to Head of Security to officers - and talk candidly about life on the inside of this prison like no other.

All prisoners have single cells and are allowed out of them for up to seven hours a day. There are six wings which include a women’s wing, an education centre, sports hall, gardens, a gym - and a 'shop'.

Joshua Stokes went to visit the prison to find out more: