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Inside HMP Portland

With a capacity of 530, the prison provides prisoners with a wide range of education and training opportunities to develop skills so they can find work when they return to their communities.

Working with Weston college, HMP Portland offers a range of vocational courses, including bricklaying, maintenance operations, horticulture and painting, as well as basic and more advanced academic qualifications.

With links to a local charity, prisoners released on temporary licence also help out at a farm shop that’s in the grounds surrounding the main prison buildings and used by the public.

Inside HMP The Verne

HMP The Verne is a prison for men convicted of a sex offence. Accommodating up to 608 prisoners, it provides a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to prepare them to return to their communities.

Prisoners have opportunities to enrol in a range of courses that offer accredited qualifications. These include bricklaying,  construction skills, industrial cleaning, painting, and barbering.

Prisoners also work in specialist workshops that produce products such as breakfast packs, leather goods and white wood furniture that are sent to other prisons to use.

Working at HMP Portland or HMP The Verne

The sea view from HMP Portland

HMP Portland has its own onsite training facility, meaning that – if there are sufficient spaces available – you may be able to complete your initial training here, rather than at a national training facility.

As an employee of HMP Portland or The Verne, you’ll have access to a range of support, facilities and employee benefits, including:

• a mentor who will support you throughout your training, and a ‘buddy’ who will work alongside you to help you settle into your new role

• use of the onsite gym and sports facilities

• excellent training and career progression opportunities

• a range of staff networks and support groups, including ‘Pride in Prisons’ and the prison’s own employee support charity.

Frequently asked questions

Take a look at these questions and answers from a previous HMP Portland webinar.

A word from the Governors


David Bourne – Governor, HMP The Verne:

“We have a fantastic team of staff at HMP The Verne. Our prison officers are a close-knit team who come from a wide range of backgrounds and are positive role models for our prisoners.

The job can be challenging at times, but with great training and a supportive team around you, you’ll have the confidence to perform an essential role and help make a positive difference in prisoners’ lives.”

Prison officer benefits

Working as a prison officer comes with a range of attractive benefits, including: 

• 25 days’ annual holiday (rising to 30 days after 10 years’ service)*

Civil Service pension of up to 20% of your salary

generous maternity, paternity and adoption leave

• cycle to work scheme and travel loans for season tickets

• tenancy loan agreements

• access to keyworker housing schemes run by local housing authorities

• employee assistance programmes which offer counselling, support and information on a wide range of topics.

*As a prison operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  you will need to work on some public and Bank holidays. Any that you do work will be added to your annual leave entitlement.

Transport links

The Isle of Portland is connected to the mainland by a causeway. 

HMP Portland is a sixteen minute drive from Weymouth, 25 minutes from Dorchester, and an hour from Bournemouth. There is ample, free staff parking on site and a bike shed for those who enjoy cycling to and from work.

First Wessex run a regular bus service (take route one from the King’s Statue) from Weymouth to Portland, and the prison is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the Grove Corner stop.