Important Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
In light of the Government announcement on 23rd March 2020, the HM Prison and Probation Service has temporarily suspended prison visits.
The Gov.uk website has put together some frequently asked questions and responses relating to friends and family of prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak.
Visits Room Play Areas
We understand prisons can be frightening and non-stimulating environments for children, which can impact the quality of engagement whilst visiting their relatives. We ensure playrooms are bright, welcoming and well-equipped with a variety of age-appropriate toys, games and activities engaging children of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
Visitors centres are a visitors first experience of the prison and the beginning of their journey. We support families in a range of ways
Approachable, friendly and fully trained staff
Identifying and supporting first-time visitors; providing information and advice about visiting procedures and rules
Information libraries (complaints procedure, Assisted Prison Visits Scheme) translated into languages based on prisoners and visitors profiles
Signposting to a range of community support including housing and welfare advice
We provide a range of enrichment activities to support strong family relationships.
Understand and provide flexible services, meeting individual needs
Promote Enrichment Activities across the prison
Support and advocate on behalf of fathers during social-care proceedings, working with probation and resettlement services supporting release plans to improve family ties and prevent reoffending
Work with the prison, always identifying additional needs of prisoners
Family Visits Days
We organise numerous family days across our network of prisons which are tailored to the varied needs of each establishment.
Family visit days are fun, engaging and welcoming and can be themed, focussing on Specific groups; E.g: New Dads, Expectant Fathers, Grandparents, Travelling communities, Teenage children
Family Advice and Interventions
We support families and prisoners with a range of interventions
“Hidden Sentence” training informing to raise awareness of the needs of families
"Being a Dad” training and support
"Time for You and Your Child” – a bespoke parenting programme preparing fathers in prison to make the most of family visits and develop parenting skills
Homework clubs; contacting schools arranging homework to be carried out with the father in prison
Supporting children with disabilities
Parenting and family support including action planning
Learning through play
Supporting adolescents, working with schools maintaining connections between the child’s education and father
Encouraging a range of different methods of contacting family members
Treasure and memory boxes for prisoners with little or no contact
The HM Prison Service have launched its new online Prison Visits Booking service. The new system will run alongside the current process but will offer a quicker, easier and more convenient route for both visitors and booking staff.
People wanting to book social visits to friends or family in prison will be able to use www.gov.uk/prison-visits to select dates and times which are convenient to them. These preferred dates are then reviewed and approved/declined by the prison in question. The prison will then confirm details with the visitor by e-mail. Visits can be booked up to 28 days ahead and requests will be responded to within three working days of the request being made. The new service is available to female, youth and adult male prisons, category B and below, within the public sector Prison Service throughout England and Wales. It is not available to private sector or prisons within the High Security Estate at present.
OUR CONTACT DETAILS
Our Visitors' Centres are very important to us and we are keen to ensure we provide the best possible service to the children and families using them.
If you need to complain about a Visitors' Centre please contact:
Where we work
- HMP Feltham - Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Winchester
- HMP Bure
- HMP Norwich - Read our Covid-19 Update on visiting services and keeping in touch at HMP Norwich. Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Wayland - Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Lewes - Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Ford - Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Standford Hill
- HMP Elmley - Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Swaleside- Download our visitors leaflet
- HMP Maidstone
- HMP Rochester - Download our visitors leaflet