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Home » News » Prison Sentence Extended for Jailhouse Tours

Prison Sentence Extended for Jailhouse Tours

Jailhouse Tours took over the Dana Prison in August 2015, initially on a 12-month agreement to operate tours and events, which was later extended to the end of 2016. 

We are now very pleased to confirm that after discussions with the owners of the prison, The Osborne Group, that Jailhouse Tours will be staying at the Dana prison until the end of 2017.

As well as operating the ‘World’s most interactive prison tour’ the Dana has been host to a number of events over the past year, including, outdoor cinemas, laser combat, prison escape events, prison experience days, zombie events, a history day, overnight sleepovers, school and educational days, corporate training, hen/stag and birthday parties and a paintball event. The prison has been used by production companies and had a number of paranormal investigations carried out (including filming by Most Haunted). 

The extension will see a number of changes happening at the Dana over the next couple of months. This will include opening a small refreshments area ‘The Officers Mess’ in C Wing. Visitors will be able to enjoy food and drink served to them in their cells or on the landings of our notorious haunted wing which housed female prisoners until 1923. Our World recognised tours will be continuing, as will the self-guided tours and Dana in the Dark. There is a full event plan for next year covering all of the events above and a few more to boot. There will also be opportunities for small businesses as one thing the Dana is not short of is space. A small amount of serviced offices will be available to rent on a monthly basis within the prison walls. 

The Dana prison is currently home to the Jailhouse Tours team who are planning to expand and take over more sites. They are in advanced discussions with other developers, including the owners of Gloucester and Shepton Mallet Prison (which was built in 1610) to take over these sites and repeat the success we have had in Shrewsbury, while development plans are put in place. 

They are also in the process of establishing and forming a charitable arm which will take over the museum section of our organisation and develop the country’s largest and most comprehensive prison museum, which will be housed within their prison sites. 

The team have been working with ex-prison governors, psychologists and officers to develop a new programme targeted at offenders who are on their last chance from the courts, before being sent to prison. The programme will take offenders and incarcerate them for 24 hours, to give them a taste of prison life. During this time, they will experience the loneliness, fear, solitude and structure of prison, the aim is to help rehabilitate and prevent them from committing further crime and being handed a custodial sentence.

Finally, Jailhouse Tours parent company will be bidding to acquire other prisons as they come up for sale by the Ministry of Justice, including Reading prison. 

Joel Campbell - Founder of Click Cleeze Ltd (formally The Campbell Group) said,

‘I’m really proud of everything my team and I have achieved over the past 14 months at the prison. It’s great that we have been in a position where we can share the history and heritage of this magnificent building and its past. We have a number of plans for the Dana over the next 12 months and knowing we are there for another year really helps us as we can invest more into the site during this time. We are also looking at other sites and are in discussions with those owners, as well as creating a new charity to take over the museum side of our business, developing offender programmes and bidding for new sites, all of which should keep us busy and out of trouble for a while.’