Booking a prison visit can seem like a complicated and admin-heavy task. This article will give you some tips to make booking a social visit to a prison in the England and Wales easier.
The gov.uk website has a function to allow you to book a visit centrally. Before you use this, you must have the:
Prisoner’s full name
Prisoner’s date of birth
Date of birth for all visitors in the party
You will need to enter all of the prisoner’s and your party’s details. You will also need to submit three dates you will like to visit the prison on. Once this is submitted, you will need to wait for a response to your enquiry.
If the prison you’re trying to visit is not a part of this scheme – for instance, if it is a private prison – refer to the next step.
Contact the prison directly
Searching for the prison name will bring up the gov.uk’s page for that specific prison. There you can find the booking telephone number, along with the opening times and email. You will need all of the same information as above, namely the prison number and date of birth.
Speaking to someone on the phone means you can confirm a time and date for a visit immediately, while sending an email can take some time to get a response. If you are trying to arrange a visit by videolink, it can be easier to do this via email so the booking team can send you the joining link directly.
Speak to the prisoner's Prison Offender Manager (POM)
Each prisoner is assigned a POM who is responsible for assessing their risks, needs, and deciding upon any intervention. If you have been unsuccessful at arranging a visit, it can be helpful to leave a message with the prisoner’s POM, letting them know you are having trouble. They can often contact the right people and speed up the process or make other accommodations.
Legal disclaimer: Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is accurate at the date of publication but please note that the law is ever changing and evolving. If you require advice in relation to any matter raised in this article please contact a member of the team.