Read scrutiny visit reports.

In August 2020, HMI Prisons launched scrutiny visits. These focused on individual establishments and how they were recovering from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scrutiny visits followed on from our programme of short scrutiny visits, which themselves replaced our planned inspection programme in April 2020.

As of May 2021, HMI Prisons has returned to a programme of full inspections.


Scrutiny visits methodology – adult male prisons (786 kB)

Scrutiny visits methodology – immigration estate (2 MB)

Scrutiny visits methodology – prisons holding women (403 kB)

Scrutiny visits methodology – children’s estate (400 kB)

Health and safety guidance for scrutiny visits – all settings (360 kB)

Scrutiny visits – human rights scoping (2 MB) (An accessible version of this can be provided upon request.)

Chief Inspector’s statement announcing the launch of SVs