Low Newton Prison was originally constructed in 1965 as a mixed remand centre for 65 males and 11 females. Additional accommodation was provided in 1975 and the capacity of the centre increased to 215, though the centre was normally overcrowded. Low Newton accommodated both male and female young persons and adult women until September 1998, when a re-role refurbishment programme commenced. Since 1998 HMP Low Newton has been an all-female jail taking female prisoners from across the north of England, as well as lifers and juveniles.
In 2006 Low Newton underwent a security upgrade to become a Category A prison holding ‘restricted status’ (high risk) women. Low Newton then held the remaining High Security Female prisoners transferred from HMP Durham.
In the same year an inmate from Low Newton had to be immobilised by a Taser stun-gun whilst visiting the University Hospital of North Durham. The prisoner was being treated for wounds to her thigh and groin, when she grabbed the prison officer to whom she was handcuffed. The inmate then held a pair of scissors to the throat of the officer and demanded drugs, before being stunned by the... Read More