UPDATE: 07/01/2021 - Due to the new lockdown measures across England, face-to-face social visits at this prison are suspended until further notice.

Purple Visits video calls will be available during this period. Further information on Booking a Purple visit at this prison can be found below.

    During this time Pact staff are on hand to provide support and updates to prisoners' loved ones via email. Please email us at [email protected]. You can also take a look at other ways to keep in touch while visits are suspended. 

    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).


    You can find updated information on times, how to book, and what to expect below.


    HMP Cardiff

    Knox Road


    CF24 0UG

    Governor: Helen Ryder

    Family Engagement Manager: Suzanne Miller ([email protected]

    Pact contact: [email protected] 

    Visiting Times


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

    Booking Purple Visits

    Bookings for Purple Visits are best made via Email. This can be done by sending a message to; 

    When sending emails to this address your visitor needs to include;

    • The name of the Lead Visitor.
    • The details of the other visitors taking part. (Maximum of 4, including Lead Visitor).
    • State the preferred time and date of visits. (The schedule of visits are posted on every wing, please pass on correct information to your visitor, to allow them to book correctly)

    It is vital that you download the Purple Visits Application and registered on the App. This needs to be done PRIOR to the visits being booked.

    Alternatively you may contact us directly on 0292092 3327.

    This line is available between the hours of;

    Mon- Fri - 0900-1200 & 1300-1500.

    Should your visitor choose this option, it is still important that they register with Purple Visits, as detailed above before they attempt to book their visit.

     All property needs to be handed out during visit (Saturday or Sunday). No parcels to be posted in and anything handed out on a visit needs to be approved by application.

    Booking a visit:

    To book your visit

    Telephone: 029 2092 3327

    You will need:

    • the name and date of birth of the person you would like to visit,
    • their prison number,
    • date of births for all the visitors coming with you.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Family Support from Pact

    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.

    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 at the weekend)
    • Email the team on [email protected]

    Other ways to keep in touch


    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 to prisoners should be addressed to: 

    HMP Cardiff

    Knox Road


    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.


    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.


    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.

    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 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 Personal Child Health Record (also known as the red book).

    NOTICE: The Personal Child Health Record/Red book is an accepted form of ID for anyone under 18 years of age.

    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.

    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?

    Please note, some of these rules may have changed during the Covid pandemic. Please contact the prison to confirm.

    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

    Please note, some of these rules may have changed during the Covid pandemic. Please contact the prison to confirm.

    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.


    You cannot give money to the prisoner during a visit. All money for prisoners must be posted in. Cheques 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.

    From 2020, HMP Cardiff no longer accepts postal orders, unless under certain circumstances (for example, the person sending in money lives overseas, cannot use the digital service and does not have access to a debit card or cheque.) Proof of the need for a postal order will be requested before allowing a postal order to be sent in. 

    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.


    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

    Further Information

    Safer Custody 

    If you are worried that your loved one is at immediate risk while they are a resident at this prison, you can contact the Safer Custody team on 02920 923 341.

    You may be asked to leave a voicemail. 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). 
    • Your telephone number (so that the prison can call you back). 

    Please wait at least 24 hours for a call back before contacting the prison again. 

    If you are worried about your loved one while they are a resident at this prison, please contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003 (from 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday).

    See some information that needs updating?

    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. 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 justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/cardiff  or you can ring the main switchboard on 02920 923100.