This guide includes information that you may find useful for the duration of the time your family or friend is a resident at HMP Styal. 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 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/styal-prison or you can ring the main switchboard on 01625 553 000.

If you need support

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).

Address:

HMP Styal
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 4HR

Governor: Danny Khan

Pact contact (Visiting Mum): Heather Cooper - [email protected]

Emergency contact: 01625 553 337 (open 24 hours a day)

Visitors’ Centre Telephone (open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm): 01625 553342

Visitors' Centre Email: [email protected]

Phoenix Futures helps to identify women and families who need support, such as mediation. They also help on the tea bar at visits, as well as organising activities for children and family days..

Visiting times:

Monday

14.00 - 16.00

Tuesday

14.00 - 16.00

Wednesday

14.00 - 16.00

Thursday

14.00 - 16.00

Friday

No Visits

Saturday

14.00 - 16.00

Sunday

14.00 - 16.00

Booking your visit:

Styal is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. You can also register to use the secure video calls service. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line (open Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5pm): 0300 060 6512

Find out about call charges

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, including children,
  • the dates and times of the requested visits and the Visiting Order number if you have one.

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 who 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.

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.
  • Social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Hand washing and sanitizing to maintain hygiene standards. Equipment will be made available.
  • 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.
  • All visitors are required to wear a face-covering at all times. Exemptions are in place for people with certain health conditions (such as breathing difficulties), disabled people and children under the age of 11.

Please find a downloadable guide for having a successful visit at HMP Styal here.

COVID-19 Testing

Social visits are still being offered in prisons. Prisons are a high-risk environment due to the large number of people living and working close together, but we will continue to do our best to keep visits open and safe as we know how important they are. Legal visits will also continue.

Because the new COVID variant is likely to spread quickly we need to do all we can to keep it out of prisons. All visitors aged 12 and over must now take a lateral flow test before coming to a prison and show proof that the result was negative. 

This could be: 

  • A time-stamped photo of the negative test taken on the day of the visit, or
  • The text or email you received from the NHS when you registered the result online

Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a test.  

If you or someone visiting with you cannot take a test for medical reasons, we will need you to bring some written evidence explaining why this is. 

You can view the updated guidance here.

Physical contact

You will still be able to have physical contact with the person you are visiting during your visit, but you will all need to wear a mask or face covering. 

Children aged 11 and under will 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.

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.

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.

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 that you can use. You can find out more here www.citizencard.com. A discount is available by contacting [email protected].

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 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. Please see the section on sending a prisoner money below.

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,
  • car or house keys,
  • any electronic devices including – SIM cards and memory sticks.

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:  www.gov.uk/staying-in-touch-with-someone-in-prison

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 are not monitored, for example, when a prisoner calls a legal advisor.

Letters

Letters to prisoners should be addressed to: 

HMP Styal
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 4HR

(Prisoner’s 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

This prison uses 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.

Secure Video Calls 

This prison offers a secure video call service called Prison Video. You will need to use the Prison Video app on your phone or tablet device to have a video call with someone in prison. 

The Prison Video app is available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store (or equivalent app stores outside the UK).  HMPPS has produced a user guide and a list of frequently asked questions that will give you all the information you need to start using Prison Video. You can find this at https://www.prisonersfamilies.org/change-of-video-call-service  

Only people aged 18 or over can register for an account with Prison Video. 

You will need to provide your name, address, and date of birth, and upload photos of your ID and face. You will also need to add details of any other people who wish to take part in the video calls with you, such as children, and upload a clear photo of each participant’s face. 

You will need to upload ID for people over the age of 18 only, unless the prison specifically asks for anything else. 

Video calls will be free for now, while visits are affected by COVID-19 restrictions. This will be reviewed as HMPPS lift restrictions in prisons and more visits can take place. 

Sending Property to a Prisoner

(If you work in a private prison you may need to update the information below to your prisons’ specific policy).

All prisoners are able to buy the items that they want or need through the approved suppliers, whose catalogues are available in the prison.

Any prisoner wishing to have clothes brought into the prison must first submit an application. Once the application has been approved by the prison, the item should be sent in the post directly to the prison with the prisoner’s name and a return address so that they can be checked and placed on the prisoner’s property card. Whilst prison staff will try to ensure the prisoner receives the items, this may not always be possible. In the case that the items are rejected, they will be returned to the visitor.

Please avoiding bringing in the following items:

  • plain black or navy items,
  • polo shirts,
  • no army style clothing or gang related clothing,
  • no items with side pockets,
  • no three quarter length trousers.

The above process also applies to court clothes. Appropriate 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, they 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. 

How do I send money to a prisoner?

(If you work in a private prison where the policy is different, please indicate by deleting the below text and writing private prison, and we will direct readers to contact the prison directly.)

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.

Further Support and Advice

Pact's 'Visiting Mum' Project

This is an initiative with the core aim of supporting women to maintain family contact - allowing them to liaise with social workers if needed and arrange for a dedicated volunteer to support the family.

This project will help to support with preparing children to visit the prison and to support with transporting the children and carers to a visit at the prison, help to support with accessing video visits if needed and support with general family related concerns.

If you have any questions about this project then please email Heather at - [email protected] - for more information.

If you have urgent concerns about the welfare of your loved one in prison, please call the prison Safer Custody line directly.

Prisoners’ Families Helpline

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 Saturday and Sunday)

Email the team on [email protected]

Fill in a contact form and request a call back at prisonersfamilies.org

Safer Custody Team

If you are worried about your loved one while they are a resident at this prison, you can contact the Safer Custody team on 01625 553 337.

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).

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

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