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

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 426600.


HMP Gartree

Gallow Field Road

Market Harborough


LE16 7RP

Governor: Ali Barker

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


14:00 – 16:00


No Visits


14:00 – 16:00


No Visits


13:30 – 15:30


13:30 – 15:30

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.

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.  


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.

Email: [email protected]

Adults and children must all have Identification; for more information regarding Identification, please see Identification Policy below. 

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 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

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?

You may bring in:

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

Food and drink

If you would like to purchase refreshments in the visits hall, you can purchase a voucher in the Visitor’s 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.

Keeping 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)


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.  


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