Guide to Items Allowed During a Prison Visit

Prison Info

When it comes to visiting loved ones in prison, understanding the do’s and don’ts around items you’re allowed to bring can make the process smoother and less stressful. Here is a guide to the rules and regulations in the UK.

Contraband is a serious issue in the world of corrections, so they enforce rules to ensure the safety and security of inmates, staff and visitors. Not adhering to these rules may result in termination of your visit, or even legal repercussions. Let’s explore the items you’re allowed to bring with you.

Personal Items

As a visitor, you’re allowed a minimal number of personal items. These typically include:

  • One form of photographic ID
  • Car keys
  • Diaper bag if visiting with a baby (nappies, bottles, baby food)
  • Some cash for use in vending machines (where available)
  • A small quantity of tissues

Remember, lockers are usually available to store personal belongings not allowed into the visiting area.

Clothing Restrictions

Your attire should be appropriate and not depict offensive content or be potentially security-risking, like camouflage patterns. The specifics may vary with each institution, but generally:

  • Footwear should be worn
  • Hats, scarves, or bandanas are advised against
  • No clothing with metal –underwire bras, belts etc.
  • Transparent or revealing clothing are not permitted
  • Shawls, cloaks, ponchos, or other outer garments may be disallowed

Health-Related Items

Visitors may bring in certain prescription medications but should declare them at the start of the visit, and may be held by staff until your visit is over. Hearing aids, glasses, and medical alert bracelets are generally permitted.

Items for the Inmate

Unless specifically authorised, you’re generally not allowed to bring anything to an inmate during a visit. Inmates receive their necessities through an in-prison commissary or an approved outside vendor. Books or magazines can be mailed directly from the publisher or an approved online store.

In some instances, you may be able to bring special items, such as clothing for court appearances, but these are generally delivered at another time and not during a visit.

Children’s Items

If you are visiting with a child, you’re usually allowed to bring a reasonable amount of baby products like diapers, wet wipes, bottles, and baby food. However, these will be subject to search before you are allowed in the visitors’ area. Toys and other entertainment items may not be allowed, this is subject to the prison’s rules.

Keep in mind rules can vary by institution, so when in doubt, reach out to the specific prison for clarification. Also, remember that these guidelines pertain specifically to the UK, and would not apply elsewhere. Adhering to these guidelines keeps the environment safe for everybody involved.

When planning your visit, it’s a good idea to pack lightly and remember less is more when it comes to bringing items into the prison. Adherence to these rules ensures a better visiting experience for everyone, mitigates potential security risks and helps maintain the order necessary within correctional facilities.


We hope this guide has made things clearer regarding what you can take to a prison visit in the UK. Following these guidelines will make your visit smoother and more comfortable, allowing you to make the most of the valuable time spent with your loved one. Please note that these rules are for the safety and security of the visitors, inmates, and staff at the institution. They aren’t meant to be inconvenient but they are strictly enforced to maintain order within the prison environment.

All these considerations are for the well-being of all involved in the visitation process. Should you have any doubts, it’s always best to contact the prison facility directly. They will be able to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their specific rules and regulations around visitations and items.

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Is it cheaper to call a landline from prison?

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