Please note: Face to face social visits have resumed at this prison. You can find updated information on timeshow to book, and what to expect below. Purple Visits video calls are available. You can also take a look at other ways to keep in touch.

If you need support:

You can also email the team at HMP Woodhill directly by emailing [email protected].

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 www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/woodhill  or you can ring the main switchboard on 01908 722 000.

***

Address

HMP Woodhill

Tattenhoe Street

Milton Keynes

Buckinghamshire

MK4 4DA

Governor:  Nicola Marfleet

Pact Worker contact: 01908 507 722, [email protected] 

Emergency contact: 01908 722 152 and ask to speak to the Safer Custody team.

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 01908 722242

Visit Times from 6th August 2020

Monday

09:30 - 10:30 and 13:45 - 14:45

Tuesday

09:30 - 10:30 and 13:45 - 14:45

Wednesday

09:30 - 10:30

Thursday

09:30 - 10:30 and 13:45 - 14:45

Friday

09:30 - 10:30

Saturday

No Visits

Sunday

No Visits

Booking a visit:

Please note that many prisons are currently only taking bookings over the phone and not online.

To book your visit

Telephone: 01908 722 329

The booking line is open Monday – Friday 08:00 – 11:30 and from 13:00 – 15:30.

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

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.

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

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.

Visits will prioritise re-establishing face-to-face contact with close family members (or significant others) This may comprise of one of the following grouping combinations only:

 

A single adult (aged 18 or over) who must be a partner, parent, foster-parent, grandparent, carer, or significant other

 

 

 

Two adults (aged 18 or over): who must be two parents, two foster parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and a grandparent)

 

A single adult (aged 18 or over):  who must be a partner, parent, foster-parent, grandparent, carer or adult close relative or significant other

 

and

 

up to two dependent children (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited

 

Two adults (aged 18 or over): who must be two parents, two foster parents, two grandparents, two adult immediate relatives or significant other1, or a mixture of these (e.g. a parent and a grandparent);

and

 

one dependent child (e.g. son, daughter) of the person being visited

 

 

Visits will not therefore be allowed from:

  • Any combinations of persons not from the same household with the exception of two parents of a child in custody
  • Three adults
  • Unaccompanied children (Exceptionally, at governor’s discretion over 16 will be permitted)
  • People who are not closely related to the prisoner or identified as a significant other.

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.

NOTICE: As of 28th May 2021 there have been changes to rules around physical contact during visits and on the number of households who can visit someone in prison.

Physical contact

Children aged 11 and under will now 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.

From 22nd July 2021, prisons in England and Wales can begin to allow visitors who test negative for Covid-19 to have physical contact with the person they are visiting. 

In order to have physical contact, you will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result for a test taken on the day of your visit. The testing is voluntary, but it will help prisons identify potential cases of Covid-19 before they come into the prison and therefore reduce the chances of reducing prison regimes in the future. 

Visitors who choose to be tested will do so when they arrive at the prison, or alternatively, can take a test in the community or at home on the day of their visit. Visitors who take a test at home must provide evidence of their negative test result. If you test negative, you will be allowed physical contact with the person you are visiting. 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.

If you test positive for Covid-19, your visit will be postponed. You will be able to rebook after your isolation period. Visitors will be given information on where to get help and support.

To protect prisons, visitors are encouraged to access the widely available twice weekly rapid testing in the community. 

You can read more about testing to physical contact here: https://www.prisonadvice.org.uk/News/testing-for-physical-contact-what-does-it-mean-for-you.

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.

For more information

You can view the updated guidance here.

Family Support from Pact

Pact family support will be available by email and you can access this by contacting [email protected]. If your issue is complex and you need to talk to us in person, please include your number in the email and tell us that you would like a call back - it would also be helpful if you could let us know whether we are able to leave a message if there is no answer - and we will aim to get back to you as soon as we possibly can. If you have urgent concerns about the welfare of your loved one in prison, please call the prison Safer Custody line directly.

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 at the weekend)
  • Email the team on [email protected]

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 aren’t monitored, for example when a prisoner calls a legal adviser.

Letters - HMP Woodhill currently put all mail through a 72 hour quarantine period before it is processed.

Letters to prisoners should be addressed to: 

HMP Woodhill

Tattenhoe Street

Milton Keynes

Buckinghamshire

MK4 4DA

(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

Woodhill 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 will need to click on in order to activate your account and send a message. You need to buy a minimum of £5 credit in order to use the service, which runs at a cost of 40p per minute.

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.

If you have photographic identification (ID with your name and picture on - for example, a passport or driving licence) then you will only need to show this one form of ID. You can find a list of acceptable types of photographic ID in List A below

If you do not have photographic identification, you will need to show two different forms of ID before you are allowed to visit. You can find a list of the acceptable forms of non-photographic ID in List B and List C below

 

List A: Acceptable types of photographic ID

You can use any one of the following documents with your photograph on:

 

If you aren't able to provide one of the ID documents listed above, you will need to provide two different forms of ID – one from List B and one from List C.

 

If you don’t have photographic ID you must provide one of the following ID documents:

 

List B

  • A Home Office travel document (convention travel document, stateless person's document, one-way document or a certificate of travel).
  • An older person's bus pass.
  • Freedom Pass.
  • Proof of age card recognised under the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) without a unique reference number.

 

In addition to one of the above documents, you will also need to provide one of the items from the following list:

 

List C

  • Your birth or adoption certificate.
  • An education certificate from a regulated and recognised educational institution (such as an NVQ, SQA, GCSE, A Level or degree certificate)
  • A rental or purchase agreement for a residential property (signed and dated).
  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • A bank, building society or credit union current account card (which has your name on it).

Any combination of the above documents should be accepted, but you will need one from List B and one from List C

Children’s Identification Policy

For those under 18 years of age, you will need to supply a 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.

HMP Woodhill is a high security prison. As such, there is a strict clothing policy for ALL visitors. A copy of this can be obtained from the Visitors’ Centre. Please endure you come dressed appropriately for you visit. The following are not permitted:

  • Skirts/dresses/shorts above the knee
  • Low cut and revealing tops
  • Any clothing deemed as ‘see-through’
  • Excessive jewellery
  • Large/heavy belt buckles
  • Ripped jeans or other excessively ripped clothing
  • Steel toe capped shoes
  • No hooded articles allowed

Underwear must be worn at all times. Any visitor who staff deems as inappropriately dressed will be issued with a written warning, and could be refused entry on future visits. 

You can view HMP Woodhill's updated dress code guidance here.

What can I bring in?

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.

Below is a list of items that you will be allowed to take with you into the Visit Hall:

  • Up to £40.00 in small notes and change (per visiting group, not individual members) for refreshments for yourselves and prisoners in the hall
  • Your locker key
  • For babies: only a bottle containing milk, a bib, and a dummy (nappies are provided in the hall if you need one)
  • Buggies, pushchairs, and car seats can only be taken as far as the search area. Another pushchair will be made available to you in the Visit Hall, should you need it. Under no circumstances should buggies, pushchairs, or car seats be left in the Visitors’ Centre.

How can I give property to a prisoner? 

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

Property, such as clothing, can be brought in for a prisoner – but there are regulations and restrictions which must be adhered to. For instance, no combat type trousers, or black/navy blue clothing will be permitted to be handed in for any prisoner. All items entering the prison will be thoroughly searched and x-rayed before being passed on to the recipient.

For property to be brought in, the prisoner needs to write out a property application, specifically for the date that you are coming in for your visit. Therefore, the prisoner needs to know when your visit is taking place, and to write out his application no later than 09:00 on the day before you come.

There are exceptions for property being brought in on a Saturday or Sunday visit. For Saturday, the prisoner needs to write out his application before 09:00 on the Thursday of the week of the visit, and for Sunday it needs to be in by 09:00 on the Friday morning. Please note that the prisoner does not need to list items that are coming in.

Newly remanded or convicted prisoners are allowed to have certain items, including footwear and clothing (although no black, navy, dark green, or yellow clothing allowed), handed in on visits during the first two calendar months (please see page 34 for more details). Visitors can bring ALL the allowed items in on one visit (please see the clothing list on pages 35-36 for more details).

  • Standard: allowed 17 items of clothing
  • Enhanced: allowed up to 25 items of clothing

Own Clothing

The prisoner must fill out a property application to enable property to be brought in. With the first application, you may bring a combination of 17 items from the following list for standard prisoners, and up to 25 items for enhanced prisoners.

  • 15 jumpers/sweatshirts/t-shirts/vests
  • 1 overcoat/raincoat/jacket/tracksuit top
  • 9 jeans/trousers/tracksuit bottoms
  • 1 suit and 2 shirts (for court appearance which will be held in reception)
  • 3 pairs of pyjamas
  • Unlimited underpants and socks

Please note that no garment can be padded, hooded, or have offensive motifs. Nor can they be black or camouflage – and plain black trousers are NOT allowed.

Footwear

Trainers with metal badges, sole inserts, or clasps are NOT allowed, and boots are not allowed unless for medical reasons.

  • 3 pairs of shoes/trainers
  • 1 pair of flip flops

Spectacles

Spectacles are allowed on the property application, but only prescription ones. Sunglasses are NOT allowed.

Books

Up to 6 books can be handed in through the property office, and these do not need to be listed on the property application.

*RELIGIOUS ARTICLES AND JEWELLERY MUST ONLY BE PURCHASED THROUGH HMP WOODHILL CHAPLAINCY.

Handing in property

Property must be handed in, or out, before your visit. The property office is situated at the back of the Visitors’ Centre and is open between the following hours:

Tuesday – Thursday: 3:15 – 14:30

Saturday AM: 08:45 – 10:00

              PM: 13:15 – 14:30

Sunday: 13:15 – 14:30

No items of your own (or the prisoner’s) can be kept in the Visitors’ Centre due to security reasons. Property must be placed in the lockers provided, or if you travelled by car, placed back in the boot of your car (at your own risk). Do not bring property in suitcases or holdalls etc., as they will not be allowed to be left unattended anywhere on prison property.

Sending money

Under no circumstances can money be handed in during your visit, or at any other time you attend the prison.

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.

*MAIL MAY BE DELAYED IF THE PRISONER’S NAME, PRISON NUMBER, AND WING ARE NOT ON THE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE.

Tobacco and cigarettes

All prisoners, whether on remand or convicted, have to buy their own tobacco or cigarettes from the canteen list.

Telephones

At HMP Woodhill, a pin phone system is used. The prisoner needs to fill in a pin phone form, on which he lists personal and legal numbers he may need to use. When this has been processed, the prisoner will receive a pin code which allows him to use the system.

Items that can be posted in

Below is a list of items that are permitted via the post. These items should be sent in in normal envelopes, and not jiffy bags, otherwise it will be treated as a parcel and returned to the sender.

  • Photographs (no self-photos, and not laminated)
  • Calendars (10” x 8” max)
  • Postage stamps (attached to a pre-written envelope)
  • Greeting cards (pre-written, not padded or musical, and no larger than A4)
  • Cheques, postal orders, and cash

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.

Further Information

If you are worried that your loved one is at immediate risk while they are a resident at this prison, you can contact the Safer Custody team on 01908 722 152.

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).
  • Your telephone number (so that the prison can call you back).

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 Woodhill.