It is often used for the detainment of prisoners for terrorist related offences. In September 2006 the number of such prisoners was 51.
Between 2001 and 2005 the prison was used to detain a number of people indefinitely without charge or trial under the provisions of the Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, leading it to be called the "British version of Guantanamo Bay. The law lords later ruled that such imprisonment was discriminatory and against the Human Rights Act
The governor of Belmarsh Prison is Philip Wragg, governor since May 2008.
It was built on part of the East site of the former Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. It is adjacent/adjoined to Woolwich Crown Court, which is therefore used for high profile cases (including those concerning national security).
readers digest. 'tracking the fox' august 1998