Visiting Isis Prison

The Visitors' Centre at Isis 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. We run a family support and children's play service for visitors to HMP and YOI Isis.

HMP and YOI Isis is located next to HMP Belmarsh in Thamesmead, South East London. Spurgeons runs a Visitors’ Centre for visitors to both HMP Belmarsh and HMP and YOI Isis prisons (which is situated opposite Belmarsh prison). The Visitors' centre offers visitors a relaxed environment where you can get something to eat and information and support from our staff who are always here to help.

Spurgeons family support workers are also based in the visitors’ centre and reception area at Isis prison and they can help you with practical and emotional advice and support. Inside the prison visits hall we also run a counter service serving refreshments and a supervised play service for children.


Contact details:

HMP and YOI Isis, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 0NZ

Telephone: 020 8317 3888

Prison Switchboard: 0203 356 4000

Spurgeons Family Support staff - 0203 356 4029

Visits Information Line: 0203 356 4030 (open 9:30am to 12:30pm and 13:30pm - 16:00pm, Monday to Friday). Please note you can not make bookings on this line as all visits have to be booked by the offenders.


Legal visits fax: 0203 356 4027

Legal visits must be emailed to:

The Isis Operations Manager, responsible for visits is Anthony StLouis. If you have any comments or questions please contact Anthony on 020 3356 4030.

If you are worried about the safety or welfare of an offender please call the at-risk hotline on 0203 356 4389.

How to get there

  • Bus: From Woolwich Arsenal Station catch the 244 or 380 bus to the prison. The bus stop is situated directly outside the exit from the railway station on the opposite side of the road. The 244 is the shorter route.
  • Train: The nearest stations are Woolwich Arsenal and Plumstead. Catch a bus from Woolwich Arsenal station to the prison, or walk from Plumstead station.
  • Car: Approach from M25 Dartford Bridge/Tunnel: Heading South - over Bridge. Take first slip road immediately after tolls, (NB head for 4 left hand tolls when coming over the bridge). Signposted A206. First exit at roundabout and come over the motorway. Then to # (below): Heading North - towards tunnel. Take last exit (Junction 1) before tunnel signposted A206 Crayford/Erith. Then to # (below):
  • # Roundabout over M25 – signposted A206 Crayford/ Erith. University Way Roundabout end of University Way/ dual carriageway signposted A206 Crayford / Erith. Into Bexley / single carriageway / roundabout. 4th exit signposted Erith A206 Crayford/Erith Roundabout end dual carriageway 2nd exit signposted Woolwich/ Thamesmead A206. Roundabout 2nd exit signposted A2016 Thamesmead, Plumstead, Woolwich. Series of roundabouts signposted A2016 Thamesmead, Plumstead, Woolwich. Dual carriageway towards Thamesmead, roundabout signposted Western Way. Signpost to Belmarsh and Courts – left slip road at traffic lights. Approach from Woolwich: Proceed along Plumstead Road, turn left into Pettman Crescent (just before Plumstead Bus Garage) then take the second left at the traffic lights into Western Way. Belmarsh is situated approximately half a mile down on the right-hand side. Follow signs for HMP Belmarsh and Courts. Approach from Plumstead: Proceed along Plumstead High Street, turn right into Pettman Crescent (just after Plumstead Bus Garage) then take the second left at the traffic lights into Western Way. Belmarsh is situated approximately half a mile down on the right-hand side. Follow signs for HMP Belmarsh and Courts.
  • Parking: Car parking is available in designated areas. Access is through the HMP Belmarsh car park, and into the designated car parking places for HMP/YOI Isis. Visitors to HMP/YOI Isis must not park in the car park for HMP Belmarsh.

To find the Visitors' Centre, turn left after you have entered the main prison driveway and follow the road as far as it will take you, the entrance to the visit centre will be on your right, about 5- 10 minutes walk, depending on your speed.

What is available at the Visitors' Centre

  • information and advice about prison routine
  • about the visiting procedures
  • information about The Assisted Prison Visits Scheme
  • details of other organisations that offer help
  • a refreshment cafe selling a variety of drinks and snacks
  • toys for children
  • toilets and baby changing facilities
  • Spurgeons' staff and volunteers are always on hand to offer support and a listening ear

Disabled access?

There is a disabled ramp enabling access to the Visitors' Centre. When you book your visit, please let the staff know if you need any help getting to the visits hall.


Tuesday 13.30-17.30
Wednesday 13.30-17.30
Thursday CLOSED
Saturday 08.30-17.30

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


Tuesday PM: (1st visit session)
14:15 - 15:15
(Doors open at 13:30, no admission after 14:15)
(2nd visit session)
16:00 - 17:00
(Doors open at 15:15, no admission after 16:00)
Wednesday PM: (1st visit session)
14:15 - 15:15
(Doors open at 13:30, no admission after 14:15)
(2nd visit session)
16:00 - 17:00
(Doors open at 15:15, no admission after 16:00)
Saturdays AM: (1st visit session)
09:15 - 10:15
(Doors open at 08:30, no admission after 09:15)
(2nd visit session)
10:45 - 11:45
(Doors open at 10:15, no admission after 11:00)
Saturdays PM: (1st visit session)
14:15 - 15:15
(Doors open at 13:30, no admission after 14:15)
(2nd visit session)
16:00 - 17:00
(Doors open at 15:15, no admission after 16:00)

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and Good Friday.

Please note that all visits must be booked in advance by the offenders themselves.


Tuesday & Wednesdays Meridian 14:15 - 15:15
16:00 - 17:00
Thames (Wednesday only)14:15 - 15:15
16:00 - 17:00


How to book a visit

All visits must be booked by the offenders themselves. Once they have booked the visit they will then get in contact with you and let you know the date and time of the visit.

Three adults (aged 10 and over) and three children (aged 9 and under) can visit with one VO. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. No visits can be made on the day a prisoner attends court.

Before you visit

Give yourself plenty of time to get to HMP and YOI Isis. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the visit is due to begin.

You will need to bring identification with you, please see the list of appropriate ID below.

What to bring as ID

No-one under the age of 18 can visit alone unless visiting a parent by special arrangement.

All visitors over 16 years old must provide 2 forms of identification (must be photographic ID and proof of address) or their visit will be refused.

Visitors under 16 do not require ID.

Biometrics: we have used a biometric system where visitors’ finger prints and facial photos will be taken on the first visit. These are then used for proof of ID for any later visits, however please always bring your photo ID and proof of address with you.

Acceptable ID:



  • Current British passport (time-expired passports acceptable within 1 year from expiry)
  • British Driving License (with current address only)
  • Citizencard (proof they are aged over 18)
  • EC Identity Card/ Home Office Card ID/Letter of photo ID from immigration (foreign nationals only)
  • 1 x proof of address (e.g. bank statement/utility bill, dated within the last 3 months)
  • Medical Card (with current address)
  • Tenancy Agreement/Rent book ( must be 3-6 Months in date)
  • Any official document/ letter from the Government e.g. DWP, personalised bank/ credit card statement and not generic

Bringing the children?

Inside the visits hall is a children's play area, which provides toys, games and playworkers for the children. There are 6 high chairs and 2 baby bouncers available on a first come, first served basis.

Booking in for a visit

Once you arrive at HMP and YOI Isis check in with your Booking Reference Number and identification at the reception desk. You will have an index fingerprint and photograph taken for biometric records.

What can I take in to the visits hall?

When you go into the visits hall for your visit, you must leave almost all your possessions behind in a locker in the reception area. The only items you can take into the visits hall are:

  • Up to £20 per adult to spend at the refreshments counter. Please bring plenty of change as notes are not allowed inside the visits hall.
  • A baby's bottle containing milk. (Other baby items must be kept in the lockers. There are baby change facilities in the reception area).

What happens on a visit?

All visitors (including children) will be searched. This will include a rub down search, metal detection search, and a sniffer dog search. You may be asked to remove your shoes. Smoking is not allowed in the visits hall.

Once you enter the visits hall you will be allocated a table where you will have your visit. The prisoner will be produced at the visit starting time, even if you are late. He will leave when the session ends. You are allowed to purchase refreshments from the machines and refreshments counter provided, but please remember that the prisoner can take nothing from the visits hall.


Security procedures

Once you have checked in at the reception area you will be called in for your visit. Everybody who enters a prison must abide by the security rules and you will be searched before you enter. You will not be allowed in to your visit if you do not follow this procedure. It is illegal to bring banned items like drugs and mobile phones into a prison and these rules are taken very seriously.

The prison has a zero tolerance stance on abuse of all kinds, whether it be to a members of Spurgeons or prison staff, prisoners or visitors.

Dress code

Due to security considerations, there is a strict dress code for visitors. You will not be admitted if you are wearing the following:

  • Any hooded clothing
  • Ripped jeans
  • Low cut or see through clothing
  • Metal toe cap boots
  • Hats, scarves, bandanas or gloves
  • Coats or jackets
  • High heeled shoes
  • Football shirts or clothing with a national crest
  • Shorts
  • Short skirts or dresses which come above the knee

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).

More information about the APVU:

a: Assisted Prison Visits Unit,PO Box 2152, Birmingham, B15 1SD

t: 0845 300 1423 (Mon to Fri 10:15-11:45am and 14:15-15:45pm)

Textphone: 0845 304 0800 (times as above)

Fax: 0121 626 3474 (24 hrs)


Support from other organisations

Spurgeons' Family Support workers can offer you information and guidance. There are also number of other organisations that offer advice and support to prisoners and their families. To find out more, visit our links page Information and Advice or ask a Family Support worker in the reception area or in the visitors' centre.

Giving the prisoner property

Property can only be handed in or out every 3 months and only after an application has been submitted and approved by the prison and can only be handed in on a Friday and Sunday afternoon between 2- 4 pm. For a list of what property is permitted, please

  • Clothes are no longer allowed to be handed in on visits.



I’m worried about the prisoner I am visiting, who do I talk to?

If you are concerned for the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner you can call the At-Risk Hotline on 0203 356 4389. Alternatively, please speak to our Family Support workers, who are based in the reception area at HMP Isis or in the Visitors' Centre.

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