HMP Erlestoke

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 Erlestoke.

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 www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/erlestoke or you can ring the main switchboard on 01380 814250.

Address:

HMP Erlestoke

Erlestoke

Devizes

Wiltshire

SN10 5TU

Governor: Tim Knight

Pact Worker contact: 01380 816828   

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 01380816828 or 01380814270

Visiting Times

Monday

No Visits

Tuesday

No Visits

Wednesday

No Visits

Thursday

14:00 – 15:45

Friday

14:00 – 15:45

Saturday

09:00 – 10:45 and 14:00 – 15:45

Sunday

No Visits

 

Booking a visit:

All visits must be booked 48 hours 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: 01380814264

Online:  www.gov.uk/prison-visits

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.

Email: [email protected]

 

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. The cost of the application to date is £10 for delivery within 21 working days, or £30 for fast track next day delivery. You can find out more at www.citizencard.com

Children’s Identification Policy

Children will need a passport or a birth certificate. For young babies you may bring their Personal Child Health Record (also known as the PCHR or 'red book').

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 other than the stipulation of ‘no bare midriffs’, 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 can bring in nappies, baby wipes, bottles and sealed baby food.

Food and drink

You will not be able to bring in any food or drink with you, however, there is a catering facility in the Visits Hall where dietary needs are catered for. The café provides hot meals, sandwiches and refreshments including burger and chips, wraps, jacket potatoes and a children’s meal box. You are permitted to bring up to £30 per adult.

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,
  • tobacco/cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia,
  • 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/staying-in-touch-with-someone-in-prison

 

The Friends of Erlestoke Prison

The Friends of Erlestoke Prison help to support offenders with the challenges of resettlement and rehabilitation. We fund projects which:

  • prepare men for release,
  • help offenders face up to the impact of their crimes,
  • help offenders develop skills which will help them to find employment,
  • bring fathers closer to their partners and children,
  • raise local awareness about the work of the prison.

Transport for prisoners' families

A transport service runs on visit days from Devizes bus stops and/or Westbury train station to HMP Erlestoke. To access this service please contact Carol on 07721 932430 with the date and time the lift is required, the number of persons and where you would like to be picked up. Alternatively, you may book via email: [email protected]

We will then let you know if we have a driver available. Drivers are volunteers and will have envelopes in their vehicle for a voluntary donation towards your journey. Visit www.friendsoferlestokeprison.com 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 Erlestoke

Erlestoke

Devizes

Wiltshire

SN10 5TU

(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

Erlestoke uses a service called Email a Prisoner, which can be accessed at 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

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 for download here: Erlestoke