Guide to Booking Your First Prison Visit

Prison Info

Visiting a loved one in prison can be an emotionally-wrought experience, especially if this is your first time. It’s normal to feel nervous. Here is a comprehensive guide designed to help ease your concerns and answer your questions about booking your first prison visit in the UK:

The Basic Rules

Every prison in the UK has their own set of rules for visits. Generally, you are allowed a certain number of visits in a specified period.

Booking a Visit

You can’t just show up at the prison; you have to book your visitation in advance. The usual method for booking a visit is through the government’s official Prison Visits Booking website. You need to provide the prisoner’s name and prisoner number, and you would also have to provide your own personal details like your full name, contact number, and date of birth.

Visiting Order (VO)

Before visiting a prison, you need to receive a Visiting Order from the prisoner that you plan to visit. This rule, however, may vary depending on the prison’s individual visitation rules.


When you visit a prison, you’re required to provide a certain level of identification. This typically involves your passport or driving license and utility bills showing your current address. If you don’t provide the right ID, you may not be allowed to visit.

What You Can Bring

The rules about what you can bring into a prison are rigorous. You’re not expected to bring anything in, but if you do, it’s likely to be thoroughly searched.

Searching Process

When you enter a prison, you’ll be searched. This is an essential part of maintaining the safety and security of everyone involved.

  • Physical Search: This involves a metal detector and possibly a pat down.
  • Biometric Tests: These include fingerprint scans. Your biometric data gets destroyed after your visit.
  • Drug Detection Dogs: You may also be screened by drug detection dogs.

What You Can Expect

During your time in the prison, you can expect to see your loved one in a communal area. Visits are typically supervised, though they try to give you some privacy. There might also be a limit to the physical contact you’re allowed with the prisoner.

Remember, prison visits are all about keeping connected with your loved one and offering them moral support. The rules might seem overwhelmingly strict, but they’re there to protect all parties involved. If you’ve got specific concerns or questions, do seek advice from the prison you’re planning to visit or a support network like the Prison Advice and Care Trust.

What is the cheapest way to call from Prison?

It is by far cheaper to call landline numbers - however landlines are becoming less common in homes & it is by far more convenient to call your loved ones mobile incase you are calling when they aren't at home. Our call packages gives you the best of both worlds - landline call pricing, but the prisoner can call you on your mobile!

Is it cheaper to call a landline from prison?

Most definitely - YES! Mobiles can cost over 25p per minute, the precious phone credit runs out very fast! Our unlimited prison calls package saves money whilst adding the convenience of being able to pickup calls on your mobile.
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