Birdman and his pet sparrow Pete were the only known residents of The Hole (for unknown crimes) before Dave Lister and Arnold Rimmer were also sent there there for continually annoying Captain Hollister.
Captain Hollister would eventually go into the Hole himself, voluntarily and alone, due to Lister and Rimmer giving him post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
The cell was a small, filthy room with little light and a low ceiling which forced the occupants to crawl about. There was a small door for access and a slop bucket, but no other amenities.
When Rimmer and Lister used a programmable virus to peel the potatoes in The Tank rather than doing it themselves, they found that it also consumed their hair and clothes. Captain Hollister summoned them to his office and threatened them with The Hole if they appeared before him again. When they accidentally gave him the virus, he sent them immediately to The Hole for two months.
When they arrived in The Hole, they discovered that they were not alone. Another prisoner called Birdman was incarcerated with them. He had been in The Hole for some time with his pet sparrow, Pete. Shortly after meeting Birdman, Bob the skutter bored a large hole through the floor of the cell in a rescue. Lister, Rimmer and Birdman escaped through the hole, only to discover that the time wand had been used to freeze the rest of the ship. (RD: Pete I)
Later, after Hollister had been massaged by a baby tyrannosaur and was suffering from post-traumatic stress, he summoned Rimmer and Lister to his office and communicated with them via caption cards. He explained that he had lost the power of speech and held up a card that said "The Hole, twelve months". As the prisoners turned to leave, Hollister banged on the table and demanded to know where they were going. When they said "The Hole, sir", he held up another card - "You're not going to The Hole, I AM" followed by "See you in twelve months". (RD: Pete II)