HMP Wandsworth

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 Wandsworth.

 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/wandsworth  or you can ring the main switchboard on 020 8588 4000.

Address:

HMP Wandsworth

17 Heathfield Road

London

SW18 3HR

Governor: Jeanne Bryant

Head of Operations: Chris Ardern

Pact Worker Contact: [email protected] 

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 0208 874 4377 (phone line will resume service after refurbishment).

Please note, while refurbishment is underway the Visitors' Centre Telephone number is 0208 5884386.  

          

Visit Times

 

 

Monday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

 

Tuesday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

 

Wednesday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

 

Thursday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Friday

Closed – No Visits

 

Saturday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

 

Sunday

09:00 – 10:00

10:30 – 11:30

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

 

Please note, you are expected to arrive at the Visitors Centre 30 minutes before the start time of your visit.

 

 

Induction Visits

 

Induction visits occur Monday – Thursday, during the 09:00 – 10:00 and the 10:30 – 11:30 sessions only; there are no PM sessions and no induction visits at the weekend. Induction visits do not have to be booked in advance and will be accommodated when reporting to the Visitors' Centre.

The induction visit is for prisoners who are new in custody for 7 days or less.

Prisoners who transfer to HMP Wandsworth from other establishments are not entitled to an induction visit. There are limited spaces reserved for induction visits; these are used on a first come, first served basis. The remaining tables will be used for ‘pre-booked’ visits. Prisoners are entitled to one induction visit.

 

 

Booking a visit:

All visits (except induction 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. The prisoner will be required to provide their visitors’ personal details to the booked visits team by completing a contact sheet when arriving into the prison. Once visitor(s) have been added to the prisoner’s contact list by the prisoner, the chosen visitor(s) can then book a visit.

Full personal details required are:

  • full name,
  • contact number(s),
  • full address and postcode,
  • full date of birth.

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

Social visits can be booked in two ways:

Telephone: 0300 060 6509

Lines are open 09:00 – 18:00 from Monday to Friday and close on Bank Holidays and weekends.

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 and name,
  • full dates of births for all the visitors coming with you.

You can choose up to three possible dates and times. You will receive a confirmation email within three working days.

 

Changes to bookings

 

Any changes to bookings must be made by telephone before 12pm, one day prior to the date of the proposed visit. In the case of a Saturday, Sunday or Monday visit, any changes must be made by the previous Friday, before 12pm.

 

Please note, there are no social visits on the second Wednesday of each month and on Family Days.

No visitor will be allowed to visit without being added to the prisoner’s contact list by the prisoner only; this does not apply to induction visits within the first seven days of custody.

 

Visitor details provided by the prisoner on the prisoner’s contact list must match the visitor’s photographic identification. Visitors will not be permitted into the visit if their details do not correspond with their photographic ID.

 

Legal Visits

 

 

 

Monday – Thursday only

08:30 - 09:15

09:30 - 10:30

10:45 - 11:45

13:45 – 14:45

15:15 – 16:15

All legal visits are booked by email at [email protected]

The prison must be given 72 hours’ notice of the date and time you wish to visit and please always include an alternative date, as legal visits are usually fully booked 7 days in advance.

A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required of any cancellations. No alterations to a visit can be accepted after 14:00 the day before the visit. All visits are for one hour only. There are no legal or social visits on the second Wednesday of every month, bank holidays or public holidays.

HMP Wandsworth Visits Policy Statement

The role of visits is vital to the prisoner’s rehabilitation process. Creating the right impression and actively encouraging the development of family relationships helps to achieve this. The visit should be allowed to take place in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere whilst retaining the highest standards of security necessary. Security is paramount in all aspects of the visiting process, but whenever possible this will be discreet and unobtrusive.

 

Visits Charter

HMP Wandsworth will enable prisoners to maintain close and meaningful relationships with family and friends, including those with special needs.

We wish to provide all visits users with a safe, welcoming environment.

 

To achieve this you can expect:

  • To be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Sessions to start on time or to be kept informed of any delays.
  • To receive your full visits entitlement.
  • Visitors’ details to be kept confidential.
  • To be kept informed of changes to visits timings.
  • Assistance with any special requests.
  • To have access to all policies relating to visits.

 

In return we would like you to:

  • Treat staff and other visits users with courtesy and respect.
  • Attend for your visit on time.
  • Terminate your visit when requested.
  • Not attempt to bring in unauthorized articles.
  • Maintain control and supervision of any children in your care.
  • Share with us any matters regarding the health or welfare that is of concern to them. Any information shared will be treated in the strictest confidence and only divulged to any relevant parties.

 

Please remember that the Visits Charter standards are an attempt to meet your needs within the available Prison Service resource.

 

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

All visitors to HMP Wandsworth will be required to provide proof of identification before entry is granted with their details and finger-scans being entered onto the biometrics system. The establishment will not allow entry if visitors do not comply with these procedures and or identification cannot be satisfactorily established.

 

In setting the ID requirement, it has been necessary for the prison to strike a balance between the need to satisfactorily establish the identity of any visitors, and preventing visitors’ entry to the establishment because they are not in possession of sufficient identity documents. It is recognised that in exceptional circumstances, there may be occasions where visitors are genuinely unable to meet the ID requirements. In these instances, visitors should make a written application to the Governor explaining their circumstances. It should be noted that exceptional permission such as this will only be granted in advance of a visit, and visitors should not expect exceptional permission to be granted on the day of the visit.

 

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

 

Adults (18 years and over) visitors must provide either:

 

  • One piece of ID from List A below AND one piece of ID from List B below, or:
  • Three pieces of ID from List B

 

In both cases, one piece of ID must include an address and one piece of ID must include a date of birth.

 

  • Only original documents will be accepted.
  • Photocopies, faxes, and items printed from the internet (e.g. bank statements) will not be accepted.
  • Names, addresses and dates of birth must match exactly between all ID provided and information given when booking a visit and any Visiting Orders.

 

List A

List B

·         Photo driving license with correct address

·         Valid passport (must be in-date)

·         National identity card (UK issued)

·         Identity card issued by an EU country

·         HM Forces/Government photo ID card

·         Senior Citizens Public Transport Pass (issued by Local Authority)

·         Driving license with correct address (paper copy)

·         Employers photo ID card OR student ID card

·         Young person’s proof of age card

·         Vehicle Registration Certificate (DVLA V5C)

·         National Insurance card

·         Valid old-style full UK driving license (cannot be used with photo driving license)

·         Valid disabled person’s Blue Badge parking permit

 

The following must be original documents issued within six weeks of birth, marriage, adoption or naturalisation:

 

·         Full birth certificate (British National only)

·         UK marriage certificate

·         UK adoption certificate

·         UK certificate of naturalisation or registration

 

The following must be dated within the last three months:

 

·         Utility (gas/electric/water) bill

·         Telephone bill (landline only, NOT mobile phone)

·         Council tax bill/statement

·         Catalogue bill or store card bill/statement

·         Bank or building society statement

·         Addressed pay slip

·         TV license

·         Credit card bill/statement

·         Mortgage statement

·         Valid insurance statement

·         NHS hospital appointment letter

·         Official correspondence confirming entitlement to housing benefit, council tax benefit, tax credit or state pension

·         Official correspondence from the Department for Work and Pensions, Job Centre, HM Revenue and Customs or local authority

·         Child benefit documentation or child tax credit documentation

·         Valid NHS card

 

 

Children’s Identification Policy

Children (under 18 years) may be required to produce one piece of ID that includes their date of birth, to confirm that they are under 18.

This might include:

  • birth certificate,
  • Personal Child Health Record (also known as the PCHR or 'red book’) if the child is under three months,
  • valid passport.

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 HMP Wandsworth was as follows.

  • Hats/scarves – may not be worn in the visits hall with the exception of religious headwear (e.g. Sikh turbans, Jewish yarmulkes, Muslim kufi, the hijab and Rastafarian hats). These will be subject to searching as per HMP’s Searching Policy.
  • Gloves/Sunglasses – are not to be worn. These should be left in the lockers provided in the visits centre.
  • Hooded tops – can be worn but not with the hood up.
  • Skirts/Dresses – skirts must cover the top third portion of the legs and when sat down underwear must not be seen.
  • Shorts – high cut shorts are not permitted.
  • Tops & Dress tops – torn or ripped tops may not be worn and must be sufficient to cover both breasts, back and the midriff area and must not be transparent. Cleavage must be appropriately covered so as not to cause offence, athletic singlet’s (vests) are not permitted.
  • Trouser – torn jeans with holes in above the knee may not be worn.
  • Footwear must be enclosed – sandals/flip-flops may be worn but these are at the visitors own risk due to the visits area being outdoors prior to entering the social visits hall and climbing stairs.
  • Logos – clothing displaying offensive patterns or logos will not be permitted (such as cannabis leaves, racist logos or offensive language).

 

What can I bring in for my children?

 

You may bring in the following items:

  • 2 x nappies,
  • 1 x pack of baby wipes,
  • 1 x bib,
  • 1 x dummy,
  • 1 x teething ring or teething toy,
  • 1 x mixed bottle
  • 1 x small clear plastic container,
  • 1 x sealed jar of baby food (must be opened and placed into plastic pot in the presence of the visits gate staff),
  • 1 x plastic spoon,
  • 1 x sealed baby yoghurt pot,
  • 1 x muslin.

You are not authorised to take in the following items:

  • no extra clothing,
  • no food i.e. crisps, biscuits etc. (these items can be bought within the visit hall),
  • no cream i.e. Sudocrem, Bonjela etc.

Food and drink

From Monday 2nd October vending machines will be available in the visiting hall due to the canteen area being refurbished, therefore only coins will be allowed to be taken in with you on a visit. Old £1 coins will not be accepted.

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.

Money can be sent to a prisoner using your debit card or by bank transfer, which allows faster, cheaper and more secure payments to your account. You will need the prisoner’s number and date of birth to do this online: www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money

In most cases, money sent using this new service will reach the account within 1-3 working days.

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 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,
  • 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/help-with-prison-visits

 

How to get there

Train: the nearest National Rail services are Clapham Junction, Earlsfield and Wandsworth Common train stations.

  • From Clapham Junction, catch the 77 bus service to Earlsfield Road, or the 219 bus service (towards Tooting Broadway) to the County Arms Public House.
  • From Earlsfield station, take the 77 bus all the way down Earlsfield Road to the Heathfield Road stop. At Wandsworth Common station, walk from Bellevue Road across common (approximately 10-15 minutes) to the prison. Alternatively, there is a mini-cab office beside station.
  • Take a London Underground train to Tooting Bec (Northern line), then complete the journey by bus routes below.

Bus:

  • From Clapham Junction, catch the 77 bus service to Earlsfield Road, or the 219 bus service (towards Tooting Broadway) to the County Arms Public House.
  • From Earlsfield station, take the 77 bus (towards Waterloo) all the way down Earlsfield Road to the Heathfield Road stop.
  • From Tooting Bec tube station catch the 219 bus (towards Clapham Junction) to the County Arms Public House.

Car:

  • The prison is situated in Heathfield Road, just off the junction of Trinity Road and Earlsfield Road/Windmill Rd SW18. If using a SatNav, the postcode to be entered is SW18 3HU. From Wandsworth Bridge roundabout, travel up Trinity Road, take the first right at traffic lights, then first left at next traffic lights.
  • From East or South London: South Circular Rd (A205) westbound to Clapham Common, then Nightingale Lane (B237) towards Wandsworth, then Trinity Road (A214).
  • From West or North London: South Circular Road eastbound to Wandsworth, then follow signs for Streatham to Trinity Road.

 

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 Wandsworth

17 Heathfield Road

London

SW18 3HR

(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

Wandsworth 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

No property can be handed in or out on a visit. Visitors will be allowed to send or hand in books, but will not be allowed to hand them directly to offenders. Books, socks and underwear can be posted in the property post box in the Visitors Centre or handed in when the outside property garage next to the Visitors Centre is open. 

 

All other property must be handed in when the property garage is open:

 

Tuesday: 09:00 – 11:45 and 13:30 – 15:45

Thursday: 09:00 – 11:45 and 13:30 – 15:45

Saturday: 09:00 – 11:45

 

Clothes may not be posted in. The following items only can be handed into the property garage during the above opening times. All property must be handed in within 28 days from the date of entry into prison:

  • 15 x tops (including vests and one single lined or non-padded jacket),
  • 9 x bottoms (no combat trousers),
  • underwear and socks (unlimited),
  • 2 x pairs of trainers,
  • 1 x pair of shoes,
  • 1 x pair of flip flops (shower shoes),
  • 1 x pair of slippers,
  • 3 x sets of pyjamas,
  • 1 x belt (small buckle),
  • 3 x towels,
  • 1x flannel,
  • 1 x dressing gown (no hood),
  • 3 x pairs of shorts,
  • books (unlimited),
  • 1 x basic watch,
  • 1 x prescription glasses (with case),
  • 1 x hairbrush or comb,
  • 1 x prayer mat and cap.

 

Appropriate court clothes are defined as the following:

  • suit trousers or skirt,
  • shirt or blouse,
  • jacket,
  • tie,
  • shoes,
  • belt (no large buckles).

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. 

The following items are available to purchase from the prison catalogue:

  • cigarettes and tobacco,
  • toiletries (including hair clippers and groomers),
  • stationery,
  • confectionary,
  • pillows and pillow covers,
  • duvet and duvet covers,

Newspapers and magazines can be purchased by the prisoner through the canteen or be ordered from JYL. To place an order, call 0207 536 8636 with the following information so that your request is processed and delivered correctly:

  • prisoner’s name,
  • prison number,
  • establishment (prison).

A printable version of this Visitors' Guide is available for download here: Wandsworth