Please note: Face to face social visits have restarted at this prison. You can find updated information on timeshow to book, and what to expect below. Purple Visits video calls are available. You can also take a look at other ways to keep in touch.

If you need support:

You can also email the team at HMP Drake Hall directly by emailing [email protected].

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).

See some information that needs updating?

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/drake-hall or you can ring the main switchboard on 01785 774 100.

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HMP YOI Drake Hall

Address:

HMP YOI Drake Hall

Eccleshall

Stafford, ST21 6LQ

Governor: Carl Hardwick

Pact Worker contact: Andrea Carson

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 0300 060 6501, lines open 09:00 – 16:00.              

Visitors’ Centre Email: visitsbooking.westm[email protected]

Visiting Times

Monday

No Visits

Tuesday

13:30 – 16:00

Wednesday

No Visits

Thursday

No Visits

Friday

No Visits

Saturday

09:30 – 11:45 then 13:30 – 15:45

Sunday

13:30 – 15:45

 

All day family visits are usually held on Wednesdays during school holidays (there are normally two sessions during the summer holidays).

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 / 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: 0300 060 6501

Online: www.gov.uk/prison-visits

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 for all the visitors coming with you.

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.

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.

NOTICE: As of 28th May 2021 there have been changes to rules around physical contact during visits and on the number of households who can visit someone in prison.

Physical contact

Children aged 11 and under will now 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.

From 22nd July 2021, prisons in England and Wales can begin to allow visitors who test negative for Covid-19 to have physical contact with the person they are visiting.

In order to have physical contact, you will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result for a test taken on the day of your visit. The testing is voluntary, but it will help prisons identify potential cases of Covid-19 before they come into the prison and therefore reduce the chances of reducing prison regimes in the future.

Visitors who choose to be tested will do so when they arrive at the prison, or alternatively, can take a test in the community or at home on the day of their visit. Visitors who take a test at home must provide evidence of their negative test result. If you test negative, you will be allowed physical contact with the person you are visiting. 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.

If you test positive for Covid-19, your visit will be postponed. You will be able to rebook after your isolation period. Visitors will be given information on where to get help and support.

To protect prisons, visitors are encouraged to access the widely available twice weekly rapid testing in the community.

You can read more about testing to physical contact here: https://www.prisonadvice.org.uk/News/testing-for-physical-contact-what-does-it-mean-for-you.

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.

For more information

You can view the updated guidance here.

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

You will need to bring one or more forms of identification with you to all your prison visits.

If you have photographic identification (ID with your name and picture on - for example, a passport or driving licence) then you will only need to show this one form of ID. You can find a list of acceptable types of photographic ID in List A below.

If you do not have photographic identification, you will need to show two different forms of ID before you are allowed to visit. You can find a list of the acceptable forms of non-photographic ID in List B and List C below

 

List A: Acceptable types of photographic ID

You can use any one of the following documents with your photograph on:

 

If you aren't able to provide one of the ID documents listed above, you will need to provide two different forms of ID – one from List B and one from List C.

 

If you don’t have photographic ID you must provide one of the following ID documents:

 

List B

  • A Home Office travel document (convention travel document, stateless person's document, one-way document or a certificate of travel).
  • An older person's bus pass.
  • Freedom Pass.
  • Proof of age card recognised under the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS)without a unique reference number.

 

In addition to one of the above documents, you will also need to provide one of the items from the following list:

 

List C

  • Your birth or adoption certificate.
  • An education certificate from a regulated and recognised educational institution (such as an NVQ, SQA, GCSE, A Level or degree certificate)
  • A rental or purchase agreement for a residential property (signed and dated).
  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • A bank, building society or credit union current account card (which has your name on it).

 

Any combination of the above documents should be accepted, but you will need one from List B and one from List C.

 

Children’s Identification Policy

All visiting children will require either their birth certificate or passport.

Dress code

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.

At the time we compiled this information, this prison had no specific dress code in place for visitors, however, visitors are asked to ‘dress appropriately’. The prison may not have defined what it considers appropriate, but you can be refused a visit if staff think you are not dressed appropriately when you arrive. In our experience, some of the items of clothing that are often deemed inappropriate by prisons include:

  • revealing or see-through clothing,
  • low cut tops,
  • bare midriffs,
  • dresses and skirts that are above knee-length
  • scarves,
  • sunglasses,
  • vests worn as a single garment,
  • stiletto heels (or heels above 2.5 inches),
  • slogan t-shirts that could be considered offensive,
  • ripped jeans,
  • hoodies,
  • steel-toe capped shoes/boots,
  • cloaks, capes, ponchos or other clothing that could prevent staff from observing sufficiently (unless worn for religious purposes),
  • Smart watches,
  • hats or head-wear (unless worn for religious purposes),
  • open-toe shoes or flip flops.
  • You will generally not be allowed in the visits hall wearing a coat.

If you are unsure about whether your clothing meets the criteria, please do contact the Visitors’ Centre beforehand and double check. If in any doubt, please avoid any of the above.

If on arrival you find that there is a specific policy at this prison, please do let us know so that we can update this page. You can email us at [email protected].

What can I bring in for my children?

You may bring in necessary items such as nappies and dummies, which will be subject to searching.

Food and drink

A selection of refreshments are available for purchase. You may bring in up to £10 in coins to spend on refreshments; treasury notes 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

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.

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). For more information, visit: www.gov.uk/help-with-prison-visits

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 YOI Drake Hall

Eccleshall

Stafford, ST21 6LQ

(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 her name.

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 may call at any time to leave a message; this message will be instantly available for the prisoner to listen to. Prisoners may 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

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/skirt,
  • shirt/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 PDF version of this Visitors' Guide is available for download here: Drake Hall

Further Information

If you are worried about your loved one while they are a resident at this prison, you can contact the Safer Custody team on 01785 774 217.

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.

Remember, there are other ways to contact your loved ones:

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]