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Visiting Someone In Prison

It’s up to the person in prison to decide who they want to visit them.

The person in prison arranges to send an application form to the person they want to see, so that person can apply to become an approved visitor.

Note: The application forms are not available online.

You can ask prison staff to pass on a message to a prisoner that you want to visit them. The process is the same for people who are in prison whether they are on remand or if they have been sentenced.

People who want to visit first fill out a visitor application form, which is followed by security checks. The application process also applies to all children under 18.

If the visitor has a court order against the prisoner they will need to contact the prison directly for advice.

If the visitor is aged under 18, the Child Application form goes to the child’s guardian. 

People aged 18 or over must complete an Adult Visitor application form.

The form asks for information such as name, date of birth, and criminal history and a copy of identification. This could be:

  • Driver licence

  • Passport
  • SuperGold card with photo
  • 18+ card
  • Student ID card
  • Bank card with photo

The completed application form is sent back to the prison.

Staff assess the application and make a recommendation to the Prison Director.  You’ll be notified in writing of their decision.

If you become an approved visitor, you must show the approval letter and suitable photo ID at each visit.

If your application is declined a deny approval notification is sent. This means you can’t enter a prison for a set period.  You can appeal the decision and the detail about how to do this will be sent with your notification.

Booking a Visit

Different prisons have different booking processes. In some prisons the visitor will book the visit, in others the prisoner will make the booking and let their visitor know by phone or mail.

Instructions about booking a visit may be included with your approval letter. If you have any questions please call the prison visits staff at the prison you want to visit.

All people in prison (except those serving a period of cell confinement on penalty grounds) are entitled to at least one visit each week for at least 30 minutes. Each prison determines how many visits a prisoner can have and how many visitors at each visit.

Visits must be booked in advance.

Visiting hours vary across all prisons and generally depend on which unit the person is in.

In some circumstances, special visits can be arranged, for example family visiting from overseas or the death of a loved one.

There is more information on what happens when you arrive at the prison for a visit on the Corrections Website:  Click Here


If you need further information about visiting someone in prison please go to the Corrections website or phone the prison you wish to visit.