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Information pack for visitors to HMP Wandsworth

Information about the Visitors’ Centre

Contact details:

Wandsworth Visitors’ Centre
HMP Wandsworth
Heathfield Road
London
SW18 3HR

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

Letters

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

Visits

Only those visitors whose details have been listed on the Prisoner’s Authorisation Contact List (as provided by the prisoner) and those whom are named on the booking will be allowed entry into the prison.

Prison staff cannot add visitor(s) to a Prisoner’s Authorisation Contact List without the consent / authorisation of a Prisoner.

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 and a maximum of 3 children will be allowed on a visit. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults and children must all have Identification, please see Prisoner Identification Policy below.

Children under the age of 16 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/Prisoners awaiting extradition:

Basic: 3 x 1 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

By Telephone:

To book a visit by phone, please call: 0208 588 4002. The Booking Line is open from 8.00am to 15.00pm, Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays. The Booking Line is closed on Tuesdays, Fridays, weekends and on Public Holidays. Please note that the Booking Line is extremely busy during its opening hours, especially at particular times of the day and in the run up to public holidays; it may take some time to get through.

Please note: It is possible that confirmation notices regarding a visit can be sent to automatically or by default to your junk/spam email folder. Please be sure that you check these folders in the first instance if you have not received a confirmation notification. Once you have received an email from the Prison confirming that your visit has been booked, please bring a hard copy of the email with you when you come on your visit.

Visits enquiries:

Enquiries only regarding visits can be made to: socialvisits.wandsworth@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

You cannot book a visit via this email; any requests for booking a visit made to this email address will not be processed.

Visiting times:

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

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

All adult visitors must provide an acceptable form of Identification to gain access into HMP Wandsworth to visit. All children are subject to the Child Entry Policy.

The prison requires the following:

  • Proof of name
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of age

Proof of your name:

  • Valid Passport
  • Time expired passport only if the photograph is recognisable and within three months.
  • Current full UK Photo Driving Licence
  • Current EU Photo card Driving Licence with counterpart
  • EU photo ID card
  • The New UK Citizen Card 18+ only
  • The Classic UK Citizen Card under 18s/ Challenge 25 card

If one of the above cannot be produced, then 2 of the following ID documents are acceptable plus proof of current address

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate

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
  • Utility bill
  • UK photo Driving Licence

Children’s Identity Policy

  • Birth certificate: full or half certificate is acceptable
  • 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.

Property

Sentenced/Convicted prisoners will be given prison clothing to wear. Once they are on enhanced regime, then they are able to order clothing through the Prison’s approved suppliers.

will be allowed to wear their own clothes. All clothing must be posted in within 28 days of their first arrival in the prison system. A suit/jacket and tie for court appearances can be posted in outside the 28 day period. Remand prisoners must also earn their enhanced status.

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

Property can no longer be handed in at the Prison; all property must be posted in. Convicted prisoners must buy the items that they want/need through the approved suppliers, whose catalogues are available in the Prison. Photographs and postal orders must also always be posted in.

The following items can be posted in only to remand prisoners, detainees and those awaiting extradition:

Item Maximum in possession Notes
Clothing (FOR ALL PRISONERS)
Trainers 2 pair No raised eyelets, zips, metal hoods, buckles or steel toe caps
Socks / underwear No limit No vests
Clothing (FOR REMAND PRISONERS AND ENHANCED CONVICTED PRISONERS ONLY)
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 )

Please note that court 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.

Canteen

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

Money

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
Birmingham
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)
Email: assisted.prison.visits@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

(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
Friday CLOSED
Saturday 07:45 – 17:00
Sunday 07:45 – 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
11:15 - 12:15
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Tuesday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Wednesday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Thursday 08:30 – 09:30
(1st session & Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:45 - 14:45
15:15 - 16:15
Friday CLOSED
Saturday 08:45 – 09:45
(No Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:15 - 14:15
15:15 - 16:15
Sunday 08:45 – 09:45
(No Induction visit)
10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15
13:15 - 14:15
15:15 - 16:15