Please note: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, social visits are currently suspended. Purple Visits video calls are available. You can also take a look at other ways to keep in touch while visits are suspended.

If you need support:

You can also email the team at HMP Gartree 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).

When social visits restart, you will be able to find updated information on timeshow to book, and what to expect below.

HMP Gartree


      HMP Gartree

      Gallow Field Road

      Market Harborough


      LE16 7RP

      Governor: Babafemi Dada

      Pact Worker contact: Kim Sharp

      Emergency contact: 01858 461134

      Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 01858 461134 or 01858 466614                     

      Visitors’ Centre Email: [email protected]

      Visiting Times


      No Visits


      2:30pm - 3:30pm


      No Visits


      2:30pm - 3:30pm


      No Visits


      Purple Visits Video Calls


      Purple Visits Video Calls

      Booking a visit:

      To book your visit

      Telephone: 01858 426727

      The booking line is open between the hours of 09:00 – 12:00 and then again from 14:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday.  


      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.

      The prisoner can also book a visit. To do this, speak to a member of staff on the wing and complete the relevant application forms.

      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. 

      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




      up to two dependent children (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited


      All visitors (adult and children) must live together as part of the same household


      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);



      one dependent child (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited


      All visitors must live together as part of the same household

      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 at least 30 minutes before the start of their visit to allow for the slower admission process.
      • Adherence to social distancing (still 2 metres for prisons) rules in the visitors’ centre (where open), queuing to enter the visits hall, and in the visits hall.
      • Hand washing and sanitizing to maintain hygiene standards. Equipment will be made available.
      • Face coverings will be made available to visitors on arrival to the prison. Visitors will be required to wear the face coverings provided whilst on the prison premises and during the visit. Exemptions are in place for people with certain health conditions (such as breathing difficulties), disabled people and children under the age of 11.
      • No physical contact is permitted at any point during the visit. As physical contact is the most common way of transmitting the virus, this rule will be strictly enforced.
      • Children accompanied by adults can visit. However, the adult who comes with them will be responsible for making sure that the child remains in their seat throughout the visit. We do realise how hard this is going to be, but please work with us and we hope that you understand why we are asking for this.
      • 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 15 minutes after your arrival at the Visitors’ Centre.
      • There are no double visits – only single visits sessions to give more prisoners an opportunity to have a visits.
      • At the end of the visits session, visitors will leave the visits hall in a controlled manner (a table at a time).
      • There will be no refreshments available in the initial weeks when visits resumes, as part of national guidance.
      • It will only be possible to book 1 visit per prisoner per month, to ensure everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to receive a visit. However, vacancies will be advertised to the wing if their visits session is not booked at maximum capacity. These will be advertised and made available to book 48 hours prior to the visit, between the hours of 2-3pm, enabling prisoners to have a second visit booked within the month.

      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: 

      (Prisoners name and prison number)

      c/o HMP GARTREE,

      Gallowfield Road

      Market Harborough


      LE16 7RP

      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.


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

      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 message for the first 2,500 characters. If this is exceeded, you will be charged an extra 35p per extra page. At present, the prisoner may receive the email at no cost, but cannot send a reply.


      Family members and friends can sign up to Prison Voicemail at, 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.  


      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. 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

      Children’s Identification Policy

      You will need to bring in your child’s birth certificate.

      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. At the time we compiled this information, the dress code at Gartree was as follows:

      • no low cut tops that reveal cleavage or unbuttoned shirts,
      • no mid-riff must show, tops must be long enough to cover the waist of your trousers, shorts, skirts,
      • no shorts/skirts or dresses that are shorter than knee length and expose any parts of the leg above the knee,
      • no see through clothing,
      • no clothing that displays offensive or inappropriate pictures or writing
      • there must be no rips or tears in your clothing,
      • no headwear unless for religious or medical purposes, this may be subject to searching in private by staff considered appropriate for the task,
      • no steel toe cap boots/shoes are allowed,
      • no watches are allowed,
      • no coats, scarves or gloves are allowed,
      • no belts with large buckles,
      • no excessive jewellery,
      • no keys.

      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.

      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 may bring in:

      • nappies,
      • baby wipes in a clear bag,
      • milk, preferably in a sealed carton or see through bottle.

      Food and drink

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

      If you would like to purchase refreshments in the visits hall, you can purchase a voucher in the Visitors' Centre as no monies are allowed to be taken into the prison. A variety of sandwiches and rolls, cakes and desserts, crisps, chocolate and sweets and fresh fruit are available.

      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 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 assist should the money go astray.

      You can now send money a prisoner using your debit card or by bank transfer.  It’s the fastest, cheapest and simplest way for you to send money.  Make sure you have their prisoner number and date of birth and visit:

      Monies should reach the prisoner in one to three working days.

      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, or call the APVU helpline on 0300 063 2100.

      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: Gartree

      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 01858 426886.

      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 have any non-urgent concerns about your loved one please call 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 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 or you can ring the main switchboard on 01858 426 600.