Parkhurst prison is one of three closely associated prisons which are often referred to by the name of the well-known Parkhurst Prison itself: Camp Hill, and Albany. Parkhurst and Albany were once amongst the few top-security prisons in the United Kingdom, but were downgraded in the 1990s.
The downgrading of Parkhurst was precipitated by a major escape: three prisoners (known to be some of the most dangerous murderers in the prison system) made their way out of the prison on 3 January 1995 to enjoy four days of freedom before being recaptured. Parkhurst especially enjoyed notoriety as one of toughest jails in the British Isles and "hosted" many notable inmates, including John Duddy, the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and the Kray twins.
Camp Hill is located 1 mile (1.6Km) to the west of Albany and Parkhurst, on the very edge of Parkhurst Forest. Originally an army barracks with a small estate of tree-lined roads with well-proportioned officer's houses (with varying grandeur according to rank) to the South and East. Having been converted to a borstal and later a low category prison.