Information pack for visitors to HMP Wandsworth

Information about the Visitors’ Centre

Contact details:

Wandsworth Visitors’ Centre
HMP Wandsworth
Heathfield Road
SW18 3HR

Tel: 020 8874 4377
Please note that this email address is for enquiries only. You can not book a visit using the visitors' centre email address.


Letters to prisoners should be addressed to:

(Prisoners name and prison number)
HMP Wandsworth
PO Box 757
Heathfield Road
London SW18 3HR

If you do not know the prisoner’s prison number, please address the envelope as above with the prisoner’s date of birth next to his name.

Visitors to HMP Wandsworth


All visits to Wandsworth must be booked in advance. Only those visitors who are named in the booking will be allowed entry into the prison.

In order to get your full visit time, you must arrive at the Visitors’ Centre 30 minutes before the start time of your visit. Up to three adults are allowed on a visit; there is no official limit for the number of children. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults and children must all have Identification (please see below).

On arrival at Wandsworth, all prisoners have to fill in a form giving details of all their proposed visitors. This is then entered on to the Prison’s booking system. Details required include the following: name, address, date of birth and relationship (to the prisoner) of each person; this includes children.

Children under the age of 16 are cannot be left unsupervised in the Visitors’ Centre while you are on your visit. Should you leave a child under the age of 16 in the Visitors’ Centre, this will result in your visit being terminated, and you will be asked to return to the Visitors’ Centre and collect the child. Please also note that all children remain the responsibility of the person(s) who brings them to the Prison; this includes whilst they are in the Play Area in the Visits’ Hall.

Visits Entitlements

Induction Visit

The Induction Visit is for prisoners who have been in custody for 7 days or less and can only happen once; after this, all future visits must be booked. Prisoners who have been recalled to prison are entitled to an induction visit.

Prisoners who transfer to HMP Wandsworth from another establishment are not entitled to an Induction Visit.

You do not need to book this visit in advance.

Remand Prisoners/Detainees/Extradition:

Basic: 3 x half hour visits per week Sunday to Saturday.
Standard: 3 x 1 hour visits per week Sunday to Saturday.
Enhanced: 4 x 1 hour visits per week Sunday to Saturday.

Convicted Prisoners

Basic: 2 visiting orders per month, generated at the rate of 1 every 14 days.
Standard: 2 visiting orders per month, generated at the rate of 1 every 14 days.
Enhanced: 2 visiting orders plus 2 x privilege visiting orders.

Visiting orders are generated at the rate of 1 every 14 days, and privilege visiting orders are generated at the rate of 2 every 28 days.

Booking a Visit

It is no longer possible to book visits by telephone

The booking line is open Monday to Friday from 08:00-16:30.

Booking Office email address:

When booking a visit by email, please include the name, address and date of birth of each person visiting; this includes children. Please also include a contact telephone number.

You will receive an email back from the Prison once your visit has been booked.

Please always bring a hard copy of this email with you when you come for your visit!

GOV.UK website:

To make use of this new system, you will need to have the prisoner’s full name and date of birth, as well as his prison number. You simply go to the website and follow the instructions given. Please note that, when using the website, you still need to wait for the Prison to email you back confirming your visit. Once you have received the confirmation email from the Prison, please bring a hard copy of the email with you when you come on your visit.

At Wandsworth visitors and prisoners are offered 2 options for booking their visits:

Option 1

By the visitor emailing the booking office: Visitors should allow at least 72 hours for a response (this does not include the weekends); this option is always extremely busy. Unfortunately, visitors who send numerous chaser’ emails do not help this situation as every email has to be opened, read and responded to, and if there are numerous ‘chasers’, this inevitably slows down the process. This option is open to visitors for both convicted and remand prisoners, as well as detainees/deportees.

Option 2

By the prisoner using the internal booking system: This is where the system gets a little more complicated, although it is by far the most popular method of booking visits, in that visitors do not have to spend time waiting for a confirmation email.

Under this option, all categories of prisoners complete the appropriate form, which is available on their landings. They complete the details of their visitors, up to three adults and, where possible, only three children. All information has to be accurate if adding new visitors, otherwise any information that is missing, such as dates of birth, etc, will result in the form being sent back to the prisoner, and this wastes valuable time and could result in the prisoner missing the visit date that he is requesting. This option is open to both convicted and remand prisoners, as well as detainees and deportees.

Under this option, convicted prisoners only can request that the visiting order (VO) be generated/activated and sent back to them on the landing, so that they can either send it to their visitor(s) or give them the VO number over the telephone; this enables the visitor(s) to telephone and book their own visit. Obviously, this part of Option 2 is not open to remand prisoners as they do not receive/require visiting orders.

All visitors will be searched before entering the Prison.

Please remember that it is an offence to give anything to a prisoner during the visit. Anyone suspected of bringing in drugs or other illicit items, such as a mobile phone, will be referred to the police and will not be allowed into the Prison. Please note that passive and pro-active drugs dogs operate in HMP Wandsworth. Additionally, all visitors, including children, may be subject to a search at any time during a visit. The use of children to traffic articles into the Prison is viewed as child abuse, and the police and social services will be informed.

Identification Policy

At HMP Wandsworth, all adults and children must have Identification every time they visit the prison. All adults require two seperate forms of ID: proof of your name and proof of your address.

Proof of your name:

  • Passport: This includes foreign passports and time expired passports where the photograph is still recognisable.
  • Driving Licence: Photo-card only
  • EU identity card
  • Benefits book
  • Local authority senior citeznes' public transport pass
  • Employer’s or student ID card (with photo): Please note that the Prison will not accept laminated ID cards.

If you do not have one of the above, then two following will be accepted:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Employer’s pass or ID card (but not a laminated version)
  • Young Persons’ Proof of Age card
  • Trade Union membership card
  • NUS card
  • Rent book /card
  • Citizen Card
  • Foreign Identity or Residence Card (non-EU)

Proof of your current address: Please note that (with the exception of Driving Licences) address identification is only valid if issued within the last three months.

  • Bank Statement
  • Benefits book
  • Gas/electricity/water bill
  • Telephone bill (including mobile)
  • Rent book

Children’s Identity Policy

  • Birth certificate: full or half certificate is acceptable
  • Verification of entitlement to Child Benefit
  • Child’s Passport
  • Red book: only for children up to the age of six months

For newborn babies, hospital discharge papers will be accepted, but only for the first visit.

The identification policy is very strict. Without the correct Identification, entry to the prison will be refused.


Sentenced/Convicted prisoners will be given prison clothing to wear. Once they are on enhanced regime, then they are able to make an application for their own clothes to be brought in. Sentenced/convicted prisoners must earn their enhanced status.

Remand prisoners will be allowed to wear their own clothes. All clothing (except socks and underwear) must be handed in within 28 days of their first arrival in the prison system.

A suit/jacket and tie for court appearances can be handed in outside the 28 day period. Remand prisoners must also earn their enhanced status.

All property must be handed in at the Property Office, which is located next to the Visitors’ Gate entrance. With the exception of clothing for court, property can only be handed in on the day of your visit.

The Property Office is open:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 09:00 - 11:30 & 13:15 - 15:30
Saturday, Sunday: 09:30 - 11:15 & 13:15 - 16:30

Property List

The following items can be handed in to prisoners. Photographs and postal orders must be posted in.

Please note that you need to bring in the full allocation of clothing in order for the clothes to be given to the prisoner.

Item Maximum in possession Comments
Trainers 2 pair No raised eyelets, zips, metal hoods, buckles or steel toe caps
Socks / underwear No limit No vests
Trousers / Jeans 4 No dark blue or black and no combats
Shirts / T-shirts 7 No white or black shirts or T-shirts
Jumpers / Sweatshirts 2 No dark blue or black, no hoods
Jacket / coat 1 No hoods, padding or quilting black. Must not resemble prison uniform.
Shoes 1 pair No large metal parts or steel toe caps
Miscellaneous (FOR ALL PRISONERS)
Board games 3 Sealed boxes only; max one per visit.
Books VC (Volumetric Control) Paperbacks only. Maximum 5 per visit
CDs / pre-recorded tapes VC (Volumetric Control) Clear plastic & shop bought only. Maximum 10 per visit
Guitar 1 Must have case. Other instruments at Governor’s discretion.
Hair brush / comb 1 No wire or metal parts
Posters 1  
Neck Chain 1 No Stones
Wedding band or signet ring 1 Plain band only, no raised rings or stones
Religious items (FOR ALL PRISONERS)
Comb/bangle/turban (Sikhs) 1  
Skull cap (Jewish) 1  
Prayer mat (Muslim) 1  
Woollen Hat (Rastafarian) 1  
Rosary beads 1  
Small religious artefact 1 As agreed by chaplaincy
Prayer stool 1 Must not be padded
Prayer mat 1 To be used for prisoners religion only
Religious books 2  

Court Clothes

  • Suit trousers
  • Jacket
  • Tie
  • Shoes
  • Belt ( No large buckles )

Court clothes can be handed in outside the 28 day period. Remand prisoners only. The clothes are held in reception until the prisoner is actually going to court.

Jeans, T-Shirts and Trainers will NOT be accepted as court clothes.


The following items can be purchased by the prisoner through canteen only:

  • Radio, DVD Player, CD player, Cassette player.
  • Electronic Games
  • Cigarettes & Tobacco
  • Confectionary
  • Toiletries
  • Stationary

Newspapers and Magazines

Can be purchased by the prisoner through canteen or can be ordered by family/friends from JYL

To place an order, call 0207 536 8636 with the following information so that your request is processed and delivered correctly:

  • Prisoner’s name
  • Prison Number
  • Establishment


All money for prisoners must be posted in. Cheques or Postal Orders must be made payable to “The Governor”, and the prisoner’s name and prison number must be written on the back, as well as the name and address of the sender. In order to be able to establish when the money arrived at the Prison, it is always safest to post the money via either Special or Recorded Delivery. This will also assist should the money go astray.

Assisted Prison Visits Unit

If you are aged 18 or over and on a ‘qualifying income’, you may be able to get help with the cost of travel when visiting a close relative or partner through the Assisted Prison Visits Scheme.

  • A close relative means: a wife, husband, daughter, son, parent, grandparent, sister, brother, civil partner or a step or adoptive parent/child/brother/sister.
  • A partner means someone who lived with the prisoner, as a couple, immediately before they were sent to prison.
  • If you are the only person visiting a prisoner and on a qualifying income, you can also apply for assistance.

Qualifying income means you must be in receipt of one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Job Seekers’ Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with a disability element. In all cases, annual income (as shown on the award notice) must not exceed £16,017
  • Pension Credit
  • Help with healthcare costs because you have been awarded a HC2 or HC3 certificate.

For an application form, ask at the Visitor’s Centre.

Alternatively, contact:

Assisted Prison Visits Unit
PO Box 2152
B15 1SD

Phone: 0845 300 1423 (Mon to Fri 10:15-11:45 & 14:15-15:45)
Text phone: 0845 304 0800 (times as above)
Fax: 0121 626 3474 (24 hrs)

(Please note that you must include your full postal address when requesting an information pack).

Visitors' Centre opening hours

Monday 07:30 – 17:00
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:00
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:00
Thursday 07:30 – 17:00
Saturday 07:45 – 17:00
Sunday 07:40 – 17:00

Please note that the prison visiting times are slightly different to the Visitors' Centre opening hours. If you need to find out the visiting times, see below.

Prison visiting times

In order to get your full visit time you must arrive at the Visitors’ Centre 30 minutes before the start of you visit.

There are no afternoon visits on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Monday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Tuesday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Wednesday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Thursday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Saturday 08:45 – 09:45
(No Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:15 - 14:15
16:15 - 17:15
Sunday 08:45 – 09:45
(No Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:15 - 14:15
16:15 - 17:15