Public consultation on new expectations for adult male prisons

Closed 17 Feb 2017

Opened 3 Jan 2017


Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMI Prisons) is an independent inspectorate with a statutory duty to report on the treatment of and conditions for prisoners. We conduct our inspections using a set independent criteria underpinned by international human rights standards, known as Expectations.

We last updated our Expectations for adult male prisons in January 2012. This review set out to ensure that Expectations reflect the new prison reform agenda, evolving human rights standards and maximise our impact in improving outcomes for prisoners.

We have aimed to provide a good measure of continuity, and have retained the bedrock of our four ‘healthy prison’ tests. However, the ‘resettlement’ test is now called ‘Preparation for release’ and some Expectation areas have been grouped together differently. We have explicitly adopted Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework in our Purposeful Activity test, and we have included an Expectation on leadership and management in every test.

We have also altered the presentation of Expectations so that they are less detailed. We hope it is now clear that establishments can choose how to achieve the expectations. We still have headings, known as Expectations, followed by a list of bullet points, but these lists are now shorter and more aspirational, based on what we usually find in the better prisons.

We invite responses from all interested stakeholders and would encourage everyone to complete our questionnaire. We appreciate that the consultation document is long and therefore in section 3, you can choose to respond only to the areas of most interest to you or your organisation.


  • Citizens
  • Young offender institute staff
  • Offenders
  • UK policy institutions
  • UK politicians
  • Journalists
  • Independent Monitoring Boards
  • Prison staff
  • IMB secretariat staff


  • Independent Monitoring Board members