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; Chris Arden (Head of Operations).

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 0208 874 4377               

Visiting Times

Monday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Tuesday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Wednesday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Thursday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Friday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Saturday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30

Sunday

09:30 – 10:30

11:00 – 12:00

14:00 – 15:00

15:30 – 16:30


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 / authorisation of a Prisoner.

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

To book your visit

Telephone: 0300 060 6509

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

You will receive an email back within three working days.

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 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

Children’s Identification Policy

You will need to bring one of the following:

  • birth certificate,
  • Personal Child Health Record (also known as the PCHR or 'red book’) if the child is under 3 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 and 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 and sunglasses – are not to be worn. These should be left in the lockers provided in the visitors’ centre.
  • Hooded tops – can be worn, but not with the hood up.
  • Skirts and dresses – 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 and dress tops – must be sufficient to cover both breasts, back and the midriff area and must not be transparent. Torn or ripped clothing may not be worn. Cleavage must be appropriately covered so as not to cause offence and athletic singlets (vests) are not permitted.
  • Trousers – torn or ripped jeans with holes in may not be worn.
  • Footwear must be enclosed – sandals and flip-flops may be worn, but at the visitors’ own risk. Note the visits area prior to entering the social visits hall is outdoors and stairs must be climbed.

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.  This can be done online: www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money.

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). Click here for more information.

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 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 and at no charge to the recipient.

Voicemail

Family members and friends can sign up to Prison Voicemail, 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

Property opening times:

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,
  • 1 x 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.

Please note, underwear, socks and books are unlimited and can be put in the clothing drop box located in the visitors centre.

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. 

CLOTHES MAY NOT BE POSTED IN. No clothing can be handed in on Mondays. 

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