HMP Cardiff

A Visitors’ Guide

This guide includes information that you may find useful for the duration of the time your family or friend is a resident at HMP Cardiff.

Any further information can be found on the prison website at justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/cardiff  or you can ring the main switchboard on 02920 923100.

Address:

HMP Cardiff

Knox Road

Cardiff

CF24 0UG

Governor: Danny Khan

Pact Worker contact: Suzanne Miller  

Visiting Times

Monday

13:30-14:30 then 14:45-15:45

Tuesday

13:30-14:30 then 14:45-15:45

Wednesday

13:30-14:30 then 14:45-15:45

Thursday

13:30-14:30 then 14:45-15:45

Friday

13:30-14:30 then 14:45-15:45

Saturday

09:45-10:45 then 13:30-14:30

Sunday

13:30-15:00

 

Booking a visit:

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 whom 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.

To book your visit

Telephone: 029 2092 3327

The booking line is open on weekdays from 09:00 -16:00.

Online: N/A

Email: [email protected]

You can also book a visit before or after you have visited, as a member of the booking team is present in the Visitors Centre.

At your visit

Visits can be extremely emotional and the process can be confusing. All prisons have differing processes for making visits and also differing security checks.

Security checks

You may be required to have your finger or thumb prints scanned as part of a security check. You may also have an iris scan.

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 need to take secure self-identification e.g. passport, citizen documentation, driving licence and a household bill as proof of address. In most cases you will need two forms of documentation.

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

Please bring in either a passport, birth certificate or red medical book.

Dress code

The following types of clothing should not be worn in a prison environment:

  • short, cropped or vest tops that reveal naked midriff, shoulders or back,
  • low cut tops or shirts unbuttoned to reveal bare chest or cleavage,
  • short skirts, long tops or shorts,
  • leggings with short tops (fine with dresses or as an alternative to thick tights),
  • any see-through clothing,
  • fishnet tights, however, wearing normal tights is preferable to bare legs,
  • baseball caps.

What can I bring in for my children?

You can bring a ready-made bottle or unopened carton of milk and a dummy. There are no changing facilities in the visits hall itself, so parents will need to take their child back out in order to change their nappy.

Food and drink

The Tea Bar is open for every visit and is stocked with a variety of items including snacks such as crisps and chocolate, hot food, hot and cold drinks, fruit and a children’s lunchbox option. Items are purchased using cash, but £20 notes and above will not be accepted.

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. All money for prisoners must be posted in. Cheques or Postal Orders must be made payable to “The Governor”, and the prisoners’ name and prison number must be written on the back, as well as the name and address of the sender.

In order to be able to establish when the money arrived at the Prison, it is always safest to post the money via either Special or Recorded Delivery. This will also be of assistance should the money go astray.

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.

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.

 

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 call. Some calls aren’t monitored, for example when a prisoner calls a legal adviser.

Letters

Letters to prisoners should be addressed to: 

HMP Cardiff

Knox Road

Cardiff

CF24 0UG

(Prisoners name and prison number)

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

Cardiff uses a service called Email a Prisoner, which can be accessed here.

 Through this service, family and friends can send a message that is printed out and delivered by prison staff by hand in the daily mail delivery. Once you have signed up, you will receive an activation link via email which you will need to click on in order to activate your account and send a message.

You will need to buy a minimum of £5 credit in order to use the service, which runs at a cost of 40p per email.

Voicemail

Family members and friends can sign up to Prison Voicemail at 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 the prisoner 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 standard 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

As of 31 July 2015, all property must be posted in; nothing can be handed in at the Prison.

All prisoners are able to buy the items that they want/need through the approved suppliers, whose catalogues are available in the Prison.

Any prisoner wishing to have property posted in must first make an application to Property Services in Reception; this means completing an application form. The application needs to include the details of all the property that he wishes to have posted in. Only once the application has been approved should the items be sent to the prisoner. Please note that any parcels received prior to the application being approved will be returned unopened. Photographs and postal orders must also always be posted in. 

Only court clothes can be posted in without the need for an application being made first. The parcel must be clearly marked as ‘court clothes’ and cannot contain any other additional items. 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, it 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. 

A printable version of this Visitors' Guide is available to download here: Cardiff