Prisoners' families and children Prison Visitors' Guides HMP Brixton This guide includes information that you may find useful for the duration of the time your family or friend is a resident at HMP Brixton. If you notice anything that is incorrect on this page, please contact us on [email protected] Any further information can be found on the prison website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/brixton-prison or you can ring the main switchboard on 020 8588 6000. If you need support You can email the Pact team at HMP Brixton directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, support and advice on all aspects of the justice system, you can contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003 (9am – 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 3pm at the weekend). Address: HMP Brixton, Jebb Avenue, Brixton, London, SW2 5XF. Governor: Louise Ysart Pact Worker contact: Katie Thomas – [email protected] Emergency contact: Katie Thomas - 07704550690 - during office hours. Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 07749389326 Visitors’ Centre Email: [email protected] Visiting Times Monday 13:30 – 17:45 Tuesday 13:30 – 17:45 Wednesday 13:30 – 17:45 Thursday 13:30 – 17:45 Friday CLOSED Saturday 8:45 – 12:00 13:45 – 17:00 Sunday 8:45 – 12:00 13:45 – 17:00 Booking your visit: Booking line number: 0208 678 1433. Booking line email: [email protected] Lines are open: Monday – Friday 13:00 – 16:15 The visits booking line 02086781433 will remain open between the hours of 13:15 and 16:15. The recoded message that can sometimes be heard when calling, is out of date so please note you cannot book online. You can however now book via email to: [email protected]. Please make sure to include the names addresses and D.O.B of all visitors along with the name and prison number of your loved one. Please also include your chosen session along with 2 back-up options. Visitors' Centre Email: [email protected] You will need: the name and date of birth of the person you would like to visit, their prison number, dates of births and addresses for all the visitors coming with you, including children, the dates and times of the requested visits and two back up options. All visits must be booked in advance. Only those visitors whose details have been listed on the Prisoner’s Authorisation Contact List (as provided by the prisoner) and those who are named on the booking will be allowed entry into the prison. Prison staff cannot add visitor(s) to a Prisoner’s Authorisation Contact List without the consent and authorisation of a prisoner. Adults and children must all have identification; for more information regarding identification, please see Identification Policy below. Who can visit? Visits will only be allowed by people who are symptom free, who have not been asked to self-isolate and who have not recently come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating. Visits will prioritise re-establishing face-to-face contact with close family members (or significant others) This may comprise of one of the following grouping combinations only: A single adult (aged 18 or over) who must be a partner, parent, foster-parent, grandparent, carer, or significant other Two adults (aged 18 or over): who must be two parents, two foster parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and a grandparent), but all visitors must live together as part of the same household A single adult (aged 18 or over): who must be a partner, parent, foster-parent, grandparent, carer or adult close relative or significant other and up to two dependent children (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited Two adults (aged 18 or over): who must be two parents, two foster parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other1, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and a grandparent); and one dependent child (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited Visits will not therefore be allowed from: Any combinations of persons not from the same household with the exception of two parents of a child in custody Three adults Unaccompanied children (Exceptionally, at governor’s discretion over 16 will be permitted) People who are not closely related to the prisoner or identified as a significant other. At your visit In order to keep visitors, residents and staff as safe as possible, there will be a number of new rules and guidelines which have been put in place by the prison service. Download our quick guide to help you with what to expect at your visit. These include, but may not be limited to: All visitors are advised to arrive 30 minutes before the start of their visit to allow for the slower admission process. Social distancing measures will be in place. Hand washing and sanitizing to maintain hygiene standards. Equipment will be made available. Visitors will be required to have their temperature taken (without physical contact) to ensure they do not have any Covid symptoms. This is an additional measure to ensure that no one is put at risk of contracting the virus. This will be taken before you enter the visits centre. All visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times. Exemptions are in place for people with certain health conditions (such as breathing difficulties), disabled people and children under the age of 11. Proof will need to be shown and taken into the prison, if proof is on your phone please print it out. COVID-19 Testing Social visits are still being offered in prisons. Prisons are a high-risk environment due to the large number of people living and working close together, but we will continue to do our best to keep visits open and safe as we know how important they are. Legal visits will also continue. Because the new COVID variant is likely to spread quickly we need to do all we can to keep it out of prisons. All visitors aged 12 and over must now take a lateral flow test before coming to a prison and show proof that the result was negative. This could be: A time-stamped photo of the negative test taken on the day of the visit, or The text or email you received from the NHS when you registered the result online Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a test. If you or someone visiting with you cannot take a test for medical reasons, we will need you to bring some written evidence explaining why this is. You can view the updated guidance here. Physical contact As the rates of Covid-19 have increased within the community and the prison establishment all physical contact has been stopped, everyone must continue to wear a facemask. Children aged 11 and under will be allowed to hug the loved one they are visiting in prison. There are no restrictions to the contact children under 11 can have, if it is in line with the prison’s normal rules. Children can leave their seat but will need to stay in the area marked out during the visit. Each prison will decide individually what physical contact is allowed, based on pre-Covid-19 visiting policies, so physical contact may differ from prison to prison. Expansion of visits Visitors from two households can now visit a person in prison at the same time. You can find out the maximum number of visitors allowed on a visit by contacting the prison directly. Adults and children who are over 11 must continue follow social distancing rules from the person you are visiting in prison. Security checks You may be required to have your finger or thumb prints scanned and a photo taken as part of a security check. Sometimes you will be sniffed by security dogs. Make sure you wear clothes that are not contaminated by any form of drug as you will be returned to the Visitors’ Centre and will not be able to have your visit. You may also be searched by a prison officer (of the same gender). During your visit, officers will be with you throughout and will open and lock doors in front of and behind you at all stages. Identification Policy For all visits you will to bring in date photo ID e.g. passport, citizen documentation, driving licence and a household bill as proof of address. You will need to bring these on every visit, a driving licence counts as both photo ID and proof of address. If you do not have a passport or driving license you can order a free citizen ID card that you can use. You can find out more here www.citizencard.com. Children’s Identification Policy Children’s Identification Policy for Visitor Entry to HMP Brixton: For Proof of ID for all children, the following must be provided: Birth Certificate Passport Citizen Card Red Books are now accepted. Children above 5: Proof of address must also be provided for children over 5 to show they are from the same household as the guardian accompanying, and for additional security assurance that they are the named child, this can be in the form of: Letter from school with their name and address specifically stated – from last year. This can be requested from the school as a ‘letter to demonstrate that child is in full-time education there’ – should be printed with child’s name, DOB, address on letterheaded paper. Letter from GP or hospital with their name and address specifically stated – from within last year. Child Tax Credit Award or Universal Credit notice - Must be for the current financial year. Please copy all pages of the letter to include the home address, parents name and child’s details. Child Benefit letter - Must be for the current financial year. All pages of the letter to include the home address and child’s name. HMRC will provide you with a confirmation letter of this on request even if you do not receive payment. Child NHS registration card - Must show your child's name and address Medical letter or prescription - Must not be more than 12 months old Immigration documents - Must show address Letter signed by "No recourse to public fund" team - Must state child and parent/carer's name and address. Letter signed by social services - If the child is a LAC Must state the child and carer’s name and address We will also need to see proof of consent from the parent or guardian that the child can have a visit. This can be a Birth certificate showing they are the child of the accompanying adult (or official documents showing they are under the guardianship of that adult), along with that accompanying adult’s proof of address. Or if the child is or children accompanied by an adult other than their parent – we must be provided with a letter from the parent stating consent for the responsible adult to accompany them. This should include a contact number for the parent, which we can contact to verify (by checking the child’s DOB). Dress code Please note, there will be extra restrictions in place during the Covid pandemic, including visitors being required to wear face masks during visits. For security, health and safety reasons, some prisons have a specific dress code for visitors and others have a more relaxed policy, making assessments on a case-by-case basis. Please note Brixton has a strict dress code, at the time we compiled this information, Brixton’s guidelines were as follows: No Hats – hats cannot be worn in the visit hall apart from religious headwear such as Sikh turbans, Jewish yarmulkes, Muslim kufi, the Hijab or Rastafarian hats Gloves / Scarves – Not allowed in the Visits Hall (apart from religious scarves) Hooded tops – can be worn as long as the hood is not worn up Skirts and dresses – must reach the knee whilst standing. Shorts – must reach the knee whilst standing Tops – must cover both breasts, shoulder and midriff area. For women, cleavage must be covered and a bra must be worn. Tops/dresses must not be sheer and see-through. No sports logos for over children over 13. Shoes – must have closed toes and backs – no flip-flops, sliders, sandals etc. NO high heels No ripped jeans Any visitors breaching this dress code will not be admitted to their visit, no alternative clothing will be provided. What can I bring in for my children? You may bring in: 1 packet of baby wipes, 2 nappies, prescribed medication. Clear bottle with milk, all powered milk will need to be made up before entering the prison. If you would like to know more specific information on what you can bring, please contact the prison directly on the details at the top of the page. Food and drink Please note, some of these rules may have changed during the Covid pandemic. Please contact the visitor's centre to confirm. If you would like to know more specific information on what you can bring, please contact the prison directly on the details at the top of the page. Money You cannot give money to the prisoner during a visit. Please see the section on sending a prisoner money below. Banned items Do not attempt to bring any of the following into prison during your visit: illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons, a camera, a mobile phone, indecent or obscene material, material that threatens the security of the prison, material that is written in code, car or house keys, any electronic devices including – SIM cards and memory sticks. If you are unsure what you can bring, contact the prison directly. Financial Assistance for Visits If you are on a low income or receive benefits you may be entitled to financial assistance for the cost of visiting your relative in prison. Help is provided by the Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU). Click here for more information: www.gov.uk/staying-in-touch-with-someone-in-prison Keeping in touch Phone To speak to a prisoner on the phone, the prisoner has to call you using a prison phone. Prison staff can listen to and record most types of calls. Some calls are not monitored, for example, when a prisoner calls a legal advisor. Letters Letters to prisoners should be addressed to: (Prisoner’s name and prison number) HMP Brixton Back GateLyham Road Brixton, London SW2 5QA You must write your own name and address on the back of the envelope or it will not be delivered to the prisoner. If you do not know the prisoners’ prison number, please address the envelope as above with the prisoner’s date of birth next to his name. Email This prison uses EmailaPrisoner.com. Through this service, family and friends can send a message which is printed out and delivered by prison staff by hand. Once you have signed up, you will receive an activation link via email which you must click on in order to activate your account and send a message. You must buy a minimum of £5 credit in order to use the service, which runs at a cost of 40p per email and at no charge to the recipient. Voicemail Family members and friends can sign up to PrisonVoicemail.com, a service which allows social contacts to exchange voicemails with prisoners. On signing up, you will be given a unique local landline number you can call at any time to leave a message; this message will be instantly available for your loved one to listen to. Prisoners can check their messages by dialling the same unique number from any phone in the prison and may leave a reply. When the message has been heard, the family member receives an instant text notification, signalling they may leave another message. In order to access messages, the prisoner pays the cost of a landline call, but the cost of the service itself is paid by the family or friend. Plans start from £5 per month. Sending Property to a Prisoner All prisoners are able to buy the items that they want or need through the approved suppliers, whose catalogues are available in the prison. Any prisoner wishing to have clothes brought into the prison must first submit an application. Once the application has been approved by the prison, the item should be sent in the post directly to the prison with the prisoner’s name and a return address so that they can be checked and placed on the prisoner’s property card. Whilst prison staff will try to ensure the prisoner receives the items, this may not always be possible. In the case that the items are rejected, they will be returned to the visitor. The following clothes are not permitted: black or white items, army style clothing or gang related clothing, no items with side pockets, no three quarter length trousers. The above process also applies to court clothes. Appropriate court clothes are defined as the following: suit trousers or skirt, shirt or blouse, jacket, tie, shoes, belt (no large buckles). Should there be any additional items within the package, they will be returned, and nothing will be passed on to the prisoner. Please note that court clothes are held in reception until the prisoner is actually going to court. Lastly, jeans, t-shirts and trainers will not be accepted as court clothes. How do I send money to a prisoner? From 2nd November 2020 the way prisoners can send and receive money has changed. You can no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post to any prison. You’ll need to send money through the Money to Prisoners Portal using a debit card instead. The Money to Prisoners Portal service is free, secure and available in all prisons in England and Wales. To get started on the Portal you will need the prisoner's date of birth and prisoner number. If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you: are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet do not have a debit card You cannot give money to the prisoner during a visit. Further Support and Advice Pact family support will be available by email and you can access this by contacting [email protected] If your issue is complex and you need to talk to us in person, please include your number in the email and tell us that you would like a call back - it would also be helpful if you could let us know whether we are able to leave a message if there is no answer - and we will aim to get back to you as soon as we possibly can. If you have urgent concerns about the welfare of your loved one in prison, please call the prison Safer Custody line directly. Prisoners’ Families Helpline You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline for advice and support on all aspects of the criminal justice system: Call 0808 808 2003 (9am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday) Email the team on [email protected] Fill in a contact form and request a call back at prisonersfamilies.org Safer Custody Team If you are worried about your loved one while they are a resident at this prison, you can contact the Safer Custody team on 0208 678 1433. You will be asked to leave a voicemail, it is unlikely you will receive a call back. Please make sure you include: Your name. The reason that you are calling. The name of your family member/friend (and their prison number if you know it). Please wait at least 24 hours for a call back before contacting the prison again. If your concerns are immediate or life-threatening please call the prison switchboard on 020 8588 6000.