HMP Doncaster unveils innovative ‘Enterprise City’ and ‘Market Street’

HMP Doncaster has been revamping its education facilities across the prison. One major improvement that the prison has been working on has been its approach to how it provides prisoners with more “hands-on” skills that they can use for employment after release.

Introducing ‘Enterprise City’ and ‘Market Street’ – a totally refurbished set of corridors that represent a shopping mall featuring independent retailers offering high end bespoke goods and services for sale, complete with its own coffee shop – ‘Doncosta’.

Throughout Market Street’s planning, the prison’s education team has encouraged the prisoners to play a direct role in its layout and design, as well as being responsible for the painting and decorating of the street.

The quality is high, from the Eva Green horticulture shop to the Dapper Dons Barbershop, Stitch in Time soft furnishings to the Canvas & Co art gallery. The Red Band prisoners – men able to complete work without direct supervision – have been an integral part of its whole design. Everything has been made by them – the curtains, the bunting and even the cobble-effect floor down the corridors.

The excitement and pride amongst the prisoners is palpable as they are invited to talk to visitors about their work if they wish. This gives them the confidence to speak for themselves which, in itself, is a valuable life skill some may not have arrived in the prison with. The letters they have written and proudly hung on their Impact wall also speak volumes at to the difference it has made to their engagement and lives.

Glowing in the aftermath of an interim Ofsted inspection which resulted in a ‘Significant Progress’ for HMP Doncaster, Chris Clifford was proud to send out a notice to all colleagues at the prison for well-deserved efforts:

“The Inspectors’ direct feedback was incredibly positive, and they used words such as ‘inspirational’ and ‘transformative’ and in some cases felt we were changing lives. They felt that the Market Street programme was a real strength and that delivery on the wings will have a direct impact on the prisoners’ achievement for which Doncaster is currently the highest in the country for accredited learning.”