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Visiting Wormwood Scrubs Prison

The Visitors' Centre at Wormwood Scrubs Prison is now run by Spurgeons, the children’s charity. Our aim is to provide a supportive, friendly and welcoming environment for everybody who is visiting a prisoner, including those with children.

Information about the Visitors' Centre

Contact details:

Visitors' Centre, HMP Wormwood Scrubs, PO Box 757, DuCane Road, London, W12 0AE

Tel: 020 8735 0595

Email: wormwoodscrubs@spurgeons.org


How to get there

  • Bus: The number 7, 70, 72, 272 and 283 buses all stop outside the prison.
  • Train: The nearest underground station is East Acton (Central Line), which is a ten minute walk away.
  • Meter parking is available on Du Cane Road and adjoining side streets.

The Visitors' Centre is situated Du Cane Road, left from the prison's main gate.


What is available at the Visitors' Centre

  • information and advice about prison routines
  • information about visiting procedures
  • information about the Prison Assisted Visits Scheme
  • a coffee bar selling a range of drinks and snacks
  • a children's play area with toys and games
  • toilets and baby changing facilities
  • Spurgeons' staff are always on hand to answer any questions or queries visitors may have


Disabled access?

Yes. There is a ramp leading up to the entrance, and a disabled toilet inside the visitors' centre.

Information for visitors to HMP Wormwood Scrubs

How to book a visit

Convicted prisoners:

By the prisoner - he will be required to provide the following information for the visitor(s): name, address, date of birth, relationship to the prison and three proposed dates for the visit. Processing an application to visit in this way will require 3 days and visits must be booked 7 days in advance.

Prisoners on remand:

  • By friends or family - bookings can be made via email. Friends or family must send an email to: socialvisits.wormwoodscrubs@hmps.gsi.gov.uk and automated response will be send which will include 4 documents: an application form to visit, directions, identification requirements and a list containing items which cannot be taken into the prison. Once the form has been completed and returned to the booking office it will be processed and a reference number will be issued via return email.
  • By telephone on: 020 8588 3564, 020 8588 3566 or 020 8588 3596

Prisoners on remand are entitled up to three visits per week.

Up to 3 adults can visit a prisoner at any one time, one of which must be at least 18 years old. At this prison, all children over 10 are counted as adults. Up to four children aged under 10 may also attend. ID is required for all visitors. Please see the advice under 'What to bring as ID'.

Please note that if you need to make a change to your visit, you must inform the booking line by 12 noon on the day before the visit. For Saturday and Sunday visits, any changes must be made by the previous Friday.

How many visits is the prisoner allowed?

It depends whether the prisoner is on remand or convicted and on the privileges system. All prisoners at HMP Wormwood Scrubs are part of a system for earning or losing privileges. Each prisoner is on a basic, standard or enhanced regime depending on how many privileges they have earned.

For convicted prisoners, there is a system of Visiting Orders (which are valid for 28 days from the date of issue) and Privilege Visiting Orders, printed on yellow paper, which can only be used Monday to Friday.

Here is a breakdown of the number of visits prisoners are allowed:

  • Basic remand prisoners can have three visits a week, one of which can take place at the weekend
  • Standard and enhanced remand prisoners can have three visits a week, two of which can take place at the weekend
  • Basic convicted prisoners are entitled to two Visiting Orders a month
  • Standard convicted prisoners are entitled to two Visiting Orders a month, plus one Privilege Visiting Order a month
  • Enhanced convicted prisoners are entitled to two Visiting Orders and two Privilege Visiting Orders a month
  • Special 'children's visits' for fathers and their children take place regularly. Click here for more information

The first visit (Reception visit)

If it is the first time a prisoner has come into this prison, they are entitled to a 'reception visit' within the first 72 hours of entering the prison. This is in addition to the normal visits entitlement. Please note there is limited space for these visits, and therefore they operate on a first come first serve basis. Please arrive early and make yourself known to a member of staff. Please also note Reception visits cannot take place on a Sunday.


Before you visit

Give yourself plenty of time to get to HMP Wormwood Scrubs; aim to be at the Visitors' Centre at least 20 minutes before your visit.

You will need to bring identification with you, please see the list of appropriate ID below. You will also need to bring a (refundable) £1 coin to use in the locker where your belongings will be kept while you are on the visit.


What to bring as ID

Visitors will be required to provide correct identification. Adult visitors must provide either

  • One from list A and one from list B
  • Three from list B

In both cases, one piece of ID must include an address and one must include a date of birth. Only original documents will be accepted. Photocopies, faxes, and items printed from the internet (e.g. bank statements) will not be accepted. Names, addresses and dates of birth must match exactly across all ID provided, the information given when booking a visit.

Children may be required to produce one piece of ID that includes their date of birth, to confirm that they are under 18.

List A:

  • Photo driving licence with correct address (must be in date)
  • Valid passport (must be in-date)
  • National Identity card (UK issued)
  • Identity card issued by an EU country
  • HM Forces/Government photo ID card
  • Senior citizens public transport pass (issued by a local authority)

List B:

  • Full paper driving license (old style) with correct address (cannot be used with photo driving license)
  • Employers’ photo ID card/ Student ID card (must be in date)
  • Young person’s proof of age card
  • Vehicle registration certificate (DVLA V5C)
  • National insurance card
  • Valid disabled person’s blue badge parking permit

The following items must be original documents issued within six (6) weeks of birth, marriage, adoption or naturalisation.

  • Full birth certificate (British nationals only)
  • UK marriage certificate
  • UK adoption certificate
  • UK certificate of naturalisation or registration

The following items must be dated within the last three (3) months

  • Utility bill (gas, electric, water)
  • Telephone bill (landline only- not mobile)
  • Council tax statement
  • Bank/building society statement
  • Addressed pay slip
  • TV license
  • Credit card statement
  • Mortgage statement
  • Valid insurance statement
  • NHS hospital appointment letter
  • Official letter confirming entitlement to state benefits (housing, council tax, tax credit, state pension)
  • Official correspondence from the DWP, HMRC job centre, local authority
  • Official letter confirming entitlement to child benefit/ child tax credit
  • Valid NHS card

The following items must be original documents issued within 6 weeks of birth, marriage, adoption or naturalisation:

  • Full original birth certificate (British nationals only)
  • UK marriage certificate
  • UK adoption certificate
  • UK certificate of naturalisation or registration

The following documents must be dated within the last three months:

  • Utility (gas/electric/water) bill
  • Telephone bill (landline only, not mobile phone)
  • Council tax bill/statement
  • Catalogue bill or store card bill/statement
  • Bank or building society statement
  • Addressed payslip
  • TV licence
  • Credit card bill/statement
  • Mortgage statement
  • Valid insurance statement
  • NHS hospital appointment letter
  • Official correspondence confirming entitlement to housing benefit, council tax benefit, tax credit or state pension
  • Official correspondence from the Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre, HM Revenue and Customs or local authority
  • Child benefit documentation or child tax credit documentation
  • Valid NHS card
  • Valid photo Freedom pass


What can I take into the visits hall?

When you go into the prison for your visit, you must leave your possessions behind in a locker in the Visitors' Centre. You will need a £1 coin for the locker, which is refundable. The only items you are allowed to take into the visits hall with you are:

  • Up to £20 in cash to buy food and drinks from the coffee bar inside the visits hall
  • Bottle of baby milk
  • A nappy
  • Baby wipes

We advise people not to buy too much food or drink at the coffee bar as prisoners are not allowed to take food back to their cells.


Help with travel costs

If you are on a low income or you receive benefits, you might be entitled to get help from the government with the cost of visiting your relative in prison. Help is provided by the Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU). You can claim for two visits a month.

For more information about the APVU:

  • ask at the visitors' centre
  • call the APVU on 0845 300 1423

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)

Textphone: 0845 304 0800 (times as above)

Fax: 0121 626 3474 (24 hrs)

Email: assisted.prison.visits@noms.gsi.gov.uk


Giving difficult or bad news

It is often necessary for visitors to be the bearer of bad news, such as a family bereavement or the breaking up of a personal relationship with a partner. If you need to give a prisoner bad news, please ensure that the prison staff or Visitors' Centre staff know before you give bad news, as it can have a distressing and traumatic effect on the prisoner. Prior knowledge can help the prison staff to support the person through what can be a time of crisis.


Support from other organisations

There are a number of organisations that offer advice and support to prisoners and their families. To find out more, visit our links page or ask at the Visitors' Centre.


Giving the prisoner property and money

Sending in money:

If you would like to give money to a prisoner, please send a postal order made payable to the Governor with the prisoner’s name and number, and your name and address on the back. Any amount can be sent in. And depending on their status, a limited amount will be allowed per week. It may take up to a week for the money to be credited to the prisoner’s account.

Giving the prisoner property

All property must now be posted in by either Royal Mail or Parcel Force, more information to follow shortly.

Visitors' Centre opening hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:15
First Tuesday afternoon of the month No visits
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:15
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:15
Thursday 08:30 - 16:15
Friday No visits
Saturday 08:30 - 17:15
Sunday 13:15 - 17:15

(The Visitors' Centre is closed on the 25th and 26th December and 1st January)

The Visitors' Centre is situated on your left as you enter the prison forecourt.


Prison Visiting Times

Monday 09:00 - 11:00
13:45 – 15:45
(over 18s only)
First Tuesday afternoon of the month No visits
Tuesday 09:00 - 11:00
13:45 – 15:45
Wednesday 09:00 - 11:00
13:45 – 15:45
Thursday 09:00 - 11:00
13:45 – 15:45
Friday No visits
Saturday 9:00 - 10:00
10:30 - 11:30
14:00 - 15:00
15:30 - 16:30
Sunday 14:00 - 15:00
15:30 - 16:30

Please note that no one will be admitted into the prison after 10.30am or 3.30pm Monday - Friday.

Weekend gate times are as follows:

  • Morning sessions:
    09.30 (1st session)
    10:45 (2nd session)
  • Afternoon sessions:
    14:15 (1st session)
    15:45 (2nd session)

If you arrive late for your allotted time you will be refused entry.