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. 

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.

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

HMP Woodhill

Tattenhoe Street

Milton Keynes

Buckinghamshire

MK4 4DA

Governor:  Nicola Marfleet

Pact Worker contact: 01908 507722

Emergency contact: 01908 507722

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 01908 722242

Visiting Centre Opening Times

Monday

Closed

Tuesday

12:00 – 16:45

Wednesday

12:00 – 16:45

Thursday

12:00 – 16:45

Friday

Closed

Saturday

08.15 – 11:30 then 12:00 – 16:45

Sunday

12:00 – 16:45

 

Visit Times

Monday

No visits

Tuesday

14:00 – 16:00

Wednesday

14:00 – 16:00

Thursday

14:00 – 16:00

Friday

No visits

Saturday

09:00 – 11:00 then 14:00 – 16:00

Sunday

14:00 – 16:00

*THE CUT OFF TIME FOR ARRIVING FOR A MORNING VISIT IS 09:30, AND FOR AN AFTERNOON VISIT IS 14:30.*

There will be no Wednesday visits on the following dates:

  • 07-08-2019 and 21-08-2019
  • 04-09-2019 and 18-09-2019
  • 02-10-2019 and 16-10-2019
  • 06-11-2019 and 20-11-2019
  • 04-12-2019 and 18-12-2019

These changes will affect visits until the end of 2019, apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Booking a visit:

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.

To book your visit

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

Visits can be booked via telephone: 01908 722329

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.

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

Visitors may identify themselves using ONE of the following:

  • Passport (including foreign passports, and expired passports where the photograph is still recognisable)
  • C Identity Card
  • Driving license
  • Benefits book
  • Senior citizens’ public transport photo pass, issued by the local authority
  • Employers’ or student ID card (but only if this clearly shows the name of the visitor and the employer/educational establishment, and has a photograph or signature which can be compared with the visitor’s appearance/signature)
  • Foreign National Identity Card

If the visitor is unable to produce one of the above, staff may accept combinations of TWO or more of the following:

  • Birth/marriage certificates
  • Cheque book or credit/debit card (counts as one only – not accepted as two items)
  • Employers pass/ID or student ID card (if it lacks photograph/signature needed for the above category)
  • Young person’s ‘proof of age’ card
  • Trade Union or National Students’ Union membership card
  • Rent book
  • Foreign Identity Card or residents’ card (other than EC ID cards acceptable in their own right)
  • Expired documents from the above lists that appear satisfactory in their own right
  • ID card from a recognised prison visitors’ organisation (e.g. New Bridge). The name on the card may differ from that on the booking form, but provided the visitor has other identification to back up the ID card, staff have no reason to doubt their bona fides – then this will form acceptable identification
  • Citizen card

Staff retain discretion to accept any other forms of identification, singly or in combination, that clearly identify the visitor in a satisfactory way.

Children’s Identification Policy

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

Dress code

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.

What can I bring in?

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 £20.00 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? 

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. However, you can send in cheques, postal orders, or cash. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to HMPS, with the prisoner’s name and prison number on the back – including your name and address – and sent to the prisoner at Woodhill. It is advisable that any form of money should be sent by recorded delivery (addressed to the prisoner, stating his name and number clearly on the envelope) and you should retain proof of postage in case it is needed. If sending a cheque, please note that it can take up to 7 working days for it to be cleared.

*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.

 

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 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.

Further Information

If you are worried that your loved one is at immediate risk please call the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003 (from 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday).