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Complaints, FOIs and publications scheme

Photograph showing a section of a staircase on a prison landing.

Complaints relating to individual prisoners

We do not deal with complaints from, or on behalf of, individual prisoners. These should be raised with the Governor or Director at the prison, or with Independent Prisoner Complaint Investigations.

Find out more about Independent Prisoner Complaint Investigations.

We are also completely independent of the Prison Service, the private providers (Serco, G4S and Sodexo) which run some prisons, and the Home Office (immigration detention). Find out more about these organisations:

Complaints against these bodies should be addressed via their complaints systems.

Find out what to do if you are concerned about a prisoner.

Complaining about HMI Prisons or raising an FOI

If you are dissatisfied with how we have conducted ourselves, you can make a complaint. All complaints against HM Inspectorate of Prisons will be dealt with according to the following principles:

  • they will be treated seriously
  • they will be treated in a fair, consistent and even-handed manner
  • any investigations will be conducted appropriately and thoroughly, by someone who is not the party complained about
  • we will respond speedily, courteously and in writing to all complaints
  • we will make clear if there are any remaining avenues for further complaint.

If you have a complaint, you should set it out in writing, within a reasonable time of the matter complained about, and email or post it to us at the address below.

We aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days. This reply will specify, if necessary, how long it will be before a more detailed reply will be provided. If you remain dissatisfied with our response, we will tell you how to make a further complaint.

Freedom of Information requests (FOIs)

FOIs should be set out in writing and sent to us by email or post to the address below.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons
3rd floor
10 South Colonnade
Canary Wharf
E14 4PU



HMI Prisons is not a Prescribed Person as defined by the whistleblowing legislation. We encourage anyone contacting us to refer to their employer’s whistleblowing policies to understand how they can make a disclosure that qualifies for the relevant protections under the whistleblowing legislation.

Our publications scheme

The Freedom of Information Act encourages us to proactively publish as much information as possible.

We make a significant amount of information available under our publication scheme. This means that, in many cases, the information you are looking for will already be available and there will be no need for you to make a formal request under the Act.

The information available is grouped under the following categories:

  • Who we are and what we do: find out more about our role and our Chief Inspector.
  • What we spend and how we spend it: we publish our accounts in our annual report.
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing: we publish a business plan every year, and report on on key inspection findings and notable organisational changes in our annual report.
  • How we make our decisions: how we decide where to inspect and how we reach our judgements on our healthy prison test scores are set out in our inspection framework and expectations.
  • Our policies and procedures: our work is governed by a range of policies, protocols and memoranda of understanding. The majority of these are available on our website.
  • The service we offer: we provide independent inspection and publish reports on our findings.
  • Lists and registers: we do not currently maintain any registers required by law or other lists or registers
    relating to our functions.

How the scheme works and information on charges

Information listed in our publication scheme is available through this website or in print. You can access information in three different ways:

  • On the website: when information is available on the website, or one of our partner websites, the web address will be given and a link will be provided. There is no charge for this.
  • By email: you can submit a request by emailing There is no charge for this.
  • By post: if you require the information in paper format it may be necessary to charge you, but each case is considered separately. We may be required to charge if, for example, a large amount of photocopying is required or if the cost of postage for a large volume of paperwork is high.

Requests via post should be sent to:

HM Inspectorate of Prisons
3rd floor
10 South Colonnade
Canary Wharf
E14 4PU

Information in other languages

We are committed to treating English and Welsh languages on the basis of equality, where it is appropriate and workable. To request information in Welsh, please email