Face to face social visits have resumed at this prison. You can find updated information on timeshow to book, and what to expect below. 

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).

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 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-verne-prison or you can ring the main switchboard on 01305 825 000.

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Address:

HMP The Verne
Verne Common Road
Portland
Dorset
DT5 1EQ

Governor: David Bourne

Visits are booked by prisoner led application. There is no online booking service available.

Visits enquiry line (enquiries about booked visits only): 01305 825 014

Lines are open:

Monday 14:00 – 16:00

Tuesday 14:00 – 16:00

Wednesday 14:00 – 16:00

Thursday 14:00 – 16:00

Friday 14:00 – 15:30 

Visiting times:

Visiting Times

Monday

No Visits

Tuesday

13:45 - 16:00

Wednesday

No Visits

Thursday

No Visits

Friday

No Visits

Saturday

13:45 - 16:00

Sunday

13:45 - 16:00

Booking your visit:

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

Visits are booked by prisoner led application. There is no online booking service available.

Visits enquiry line (enquiries about booked visits only): 01305 825 014

The query line is open Monday to Friday, 2pm to 4pm (closes at 3:30pm on Friday)

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. There will be a maximum of 3 visitors per resident (including children).

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.

  • 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.
  • 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..

For more information

You can view the updated guidance here.

Family Support

If you have urgent concerns about the welfare of your loved one in prison, please call the prison Safer Custody line directly on 01305 825 058.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline for advice and support on all aspects of the criminal justice system:

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

Other ways to keep 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 The Verne
Verne Common Road
Portland
Dorset
DT5 1EQ

(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

The Verne 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. 

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.

Group 1

Driving Licence (acceptable on its own) - This can be a full or provisional as long it is in date and has your correct address.

OR

Group 2

VALID Passport WITH

2 x Letters as proof of address (dated within the last 3 months)

Letters are either:

Bank statement

Utility Bill

Council Tax

Benefit letter

OR

A concessionary bus pass AND

2 x Letters as proof of address (dated within the last 3 months)

These WILL NOT be accepted without proof of address, and MUST say concessionary on the card

OR

A citizenship card AND

2 x Letters as proof of address (dated within the last 3 months)

These WILL NOT be accepted without proof of address, and MUST say concessionary on the card

 .

Children’s Identification Policy (under 18):

You will need to bring either the child's valid passport or 'Red book' till 3months old or the child's full 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, Nottingham’s guidelines were as follows:

  • modest dress,
  • no work clothes (including uniforms),
  • no sports shirts or football shirts,
  • no hoods,
  • no mobile phones,
  • no offensive logos,
  • no sunglasses or headscarves unless worn for religious reasons,
  • no ripped jeans,
  • no vest tops,
  • no short skirts or dresses.

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:

  • dummies,
  • baby wipes,
  • nappies,
  • milk powder,
  • prescribed medication.

Please note that some of these items may be bagged and tagged in the Visitors’ Centre prior to entry into the prison.

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.

Food and drink

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

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,
  • 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

Sending Property to a Prisoner

Family and friends can hand in books and legal documents for prisoners before a visit.

Other items may be accepted by post but you must write to the governor for permission beforehand. If you don’t do this, your parcel will be returned.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

Books may be sent directly to loved ones, or can be ordered from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.   For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

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 01305 825 058.

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.

If you have any non-urgent questions or 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).

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