Adam Johnson: Who decides which prison an inmate is sent to?

Adam Johnson pictured at Bradford Crown Court during his trial proceedings. Picture: Press Association.
Adam Johnson pictured at Bradford Crown Court during his trial proceedings. Picture: Press Association.

Former footballer Adam Johnson could be moved to a "softer" prison to serve his sentence for child sex offences, it has been revealed today.

The 28-year-old, of Castle Eden, County Durham, was sentenced to six years in prison last month after being convicted of grooming, kissing and sexually touching an underage fan.

Today, it has been published nationally that Johnson may be moved to a Category B or C facility, following his time in holding jail.
But who makes the decision on which prison someone serves their sentence at?

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed today that any decision on where an inmate would serve their sentence would lie with the HM Prison Service.

Details published on the Government's website explain that each prisoner is given a security category, and may be moved at any time based on this category.

It said: "Prisoners are given a security category based on: how likely they are to try to escape, their risk of causing harm to other prisoners and prison staff.

"A prisoner may be transferred to another prison with a different security category at any time."

According to information published by the Prison Reform Trust, the security categories for adults are as follows:

Category A: This is where prison staff think you will harm someone outside prison and/or you might try to escape so everything possible will be done to stop you escaping.

Category B: This is where prison staff think you should have no chance of escaping.

Category C: This is where prison staff think you will not escape, but that you cannot be trusted in an open prison.

Category D: This is where prison staff think they can trust you to be in an open prison.

The Trust also published information detailing that prison staff "will keep checking" an inmate's security category - and that this can be changed if the person is deemed as "becoming safer" or "more dangerous".

How often these checks are carried out are dependent on the length of a sentence, the Trust added, with those sentenced for more than four years eligible for a security category check each year.

READ MORE: Adam Johnson launches appeal against jail sentence
Johnson was sentenced to five years in prison for touching the girl sexually, one year for grooming her and four months for kissing her. His total sentence is six years.