This guide includes information that you may find useful for the duration of the time your family or friend is a resident at HMP & YOI Isis. 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/isis or you can ring the main switchboard on 020 3356 4000.

Address:

Western Way

Thamesmead

London

SE28 0NZ

Governor: Emily Thomas

Pact Worker Contact:  [email protected]

Visitors’ Centre Telephone: 0203 356 4029

Lines are open on Tuesday and Wednesday, 13.30 – 17:30 and Saturday, 08.30 – 17.30.              

Visiting Times

Monday

No Visits

Tuesday

14:15 – 15:15

16:00 – 17:00

Wednesday

14:15 – 15:15

16:00 – 17:00

Thursday

No Visits

Friday

No Visits

Saturday

 9:15 – 10:15

14:15 – 15:15

16:00 – 17:00

Sunday

No Visits

 

Booking a visit

All visits must be booked by the young offenders themselves. Once they have booked the visit, they will then get in contact with you to let you know the date and time of the visit.

Three adults (aged ten and over) and three children (aged nine and under) can visit with one Visiting Order (VO). Visitors under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by an adult. No visits can be made on the day a prisoner attends court.

It is important to remember that failing to attend your arranged visit may result in the loss of a future visit.

The prisoner is entitled to a certain amount of visits per month, depending on his status:

  • Basic: two visits per month,
  • Standard: two visits per month,
  • Enhanced: three visits per month.

 

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. Facial photos will be taken and used as proof of identification for any later visits; however, please always bring ID with you

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.

All visitors over eighteen years old must provide acceptable photo identification and proof of address within three months or their visit will be refused.

Acceptable ID:

  • Current British passport

OR

  • British Driving License (with current address)

AND

  • ONE proof of address (i.e. bank statement or utility bill, dated within the last 3 months) and ONE of the following:
  • Passports: foreign passports, time-expired passports with a recognisable photo.
  • Non UK Photo driving license.
  • EC identify card, Home Office ID card, letter of photo ID from immigration
  • Public Transport Season Ticket with photo card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Employers card or student card (with name and photo)
  • Birth or marriage certificate
  • Benefit book or card
  • Cheque book or credit or debit card
  • Medical card
  • Tenancy Agreement or rent book

 

Children’s Identification Policy

No one under the age of eighteen can visit alone unless visiting a parent by special arrangement.

Visitors over sixteen must provide one form of photographic ID from the list above.

 

Dress code

Due to security considerations, there is a strict dress code for visitors. You will not be admitted if you are wearing the following:

  • any hooded clothing,
  • ripped jeans,
  • low cut or see through clothing,
  • metal toe cap boots,
  • hats, scarves, bandanas or gloves,
  • coats and jackets,
  • high heeled shoes,
  • football shirts or clothing with a national crest,
  • shorts,
  • short skirt or dresses which come above the knee.

 

What can I bring in for my children?

You may bring in the following items only:

  • nappies,
  • dummies,
  • wipes,
  • baby milk.

 

Food and drink

A selection of hot and cold snacks and refreshments are available to buy, including sandwiches, snacks, chocolate, sweets, hot food, noodles, hot and cold drinks.

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. All money for prisoners must be posted in. 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 also assist 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

From the prisoners personal allowance (which depends on their status), inmates can buy PIN credit which enable them to call family members. You may want to post any telephone numbers to him, as you will not be able to write these down for him on a visit.

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 YOI Isis

Western Way

Thamesmead

London

SE28 0NZ

(Prisoner’s 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 prisoner’s prison number, please address the envelope as above with the prisoner’s date of birth next to his name.

Email

Isis uses a service called Email a Prisoner, which can be accessed here.

Through this service, family and friends can send a message that 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 email.

Voicemail

Family members and friends can sign up to Prison Voicemail at 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 the prisoner 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.

Clothing Allowance

Clothes may not be posted in. Clothes may be handed in on a booked visit in the first 28 days starting from the first day of custody. For Category A prisoners, clothes may be handed in within the 28 days starting from the first visit.  After 28 days the prisoner may purchase goods from the catalogues only. Please note that no clothing may be handed in on Saturdays.

Prisoners may have the following items:

 

  • 3 x towels
  • 1 x pair of shower shoes
  • 1 x bathrobe (no hoods)
  • 2 x pairs of pyjamas
  • 15 x lots of upper wear e.g. t-shirts, vests, tracksuit tops, jumpers, polo t-shirt and cardigans (polo shirts cannot be in black, navy and grey)
  • 14 x pairs of pants or boxers
  • 14 x pairs of socks
  • 1 x belt - no studs or large buckles (no bigger than Officer’s buckle)
  • 3 x pairs of shorts (sports only)
  • 3 x pairs of footwear, no metal toe caps or steel sole plates, large buckles, bands, tags or taps
  • 6 x pairs of trousers (jeans, tracksuit bottoms, trousers) not black trousers
  • 1 x coat (not black or with thick padding)
  • 2 x pairs of prescription glasses
  • 2 x prayer suits
  • 2 x prayer caps
  • 6 x books

All prisoners are able to buy the items that they want and need through the approved suppliers, whose catalogues are available in the prison.

Any prisoner wishing to have property posted in must first make an application to Property Services in Reception; this means completing an application form. The application needs to include the details of all the property that he wishes to have posted in. Only once the application has been approved should the items be sent to the prisoner. Please note that any parcels received prior to the application being approved will be returned unopened. Photographs and postal orders must also always be posted in. 

Only court clothes can be posted in without the need for an application being made first. The parcel must be clearly marked as ‘court clothes’ and cannot contain any other additional items. Court clothes are defined as the following:

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

Should there be any additional items within the package, it will be returned, and nothing will be passed on to the prisoner. 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.

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