To help promote good practice across the estate, and challenge the overwhelmingly negative image of our jails, our Director, Simon Shepherd, set out at the end of 2017 to visit every closed prison in England & Wales and ask prisoners, staff, and managers about the good things going on in each establishment.

After a journey of more than 17,000 miles, over 17 months, we published his findings in September 2019 in “The Good Book of Prisons”, and online at

Simon set off again in 2022, this time covering open prisons too, asking each Governor to identify three things they were most proud of in their jail. We hope to publish the Good Book of Prisons 2 in late 2024.