Guidance

Askham Grange Prison and Young Offender Institute

Askham Grange is an open prison and young offender institute (YOI) in Askham Richard, near York, for women aged 18 and over.

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Book and plan your visit to Askham Grange

To visit someone in Askham Grange you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit. A maximum of 5 people can visit at one time, including children.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Askham Grange.

Contact Askham Grange if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Askham Grange
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone or in person at Askham Grange.

Booking line: 0300 060 6513
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are Saturday and Sunday from 1:45pm to 3:45pm.

Email: hmppsvisitbooking@noms.gsi.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6513
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are Monday to Friday, 9am to 11:30am and 1pm to 3:30pm.

Getting to Askham Grange

Find Askham Grange on a map

The closest railway station is York. From there, you can take a bus to Askham Richard except on Sundays. There is also a taxi rank at the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park at Askham Grange, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Askham Grange

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in sufficient cash to buy food and drink from the tea bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Askham Grange. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

The family-friendly visitors centre at Askham Grange is run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), a national charity. Visitors are offered a warm welcome, information and support. It includes a snack bar and play area for children.

Family days

Askham Grange holds 6 family days a year giving residents more time to spend with family and loved ones in a relaxed setting. These take place during school holidays.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Askham Grange

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Askham Grange.

Phone calls

Residents do not have phones in their rooms so they will generally have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security on arrival so you will be able to speak to them during their first few days.

Additionally, Askham Grange has 2 phones which accept incoming calls that women can pre-book. You can ask them for the number.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Askham Grange using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident, depending on the rules at Askham Grange.

Letters

Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Askham Grange.

All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can also send postal orders and cheques. These should be made payable to ‘NOMS Agency’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Residents are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Askham Grange for more information on what is allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Askham Grange

Askham Grange is committed to providing a safe and educational environment for women. This includes helping women build family relationships and develop work and life skills.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Askham Grange has a right to feel safe. The staff at Askham Grange are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a woman in Askham Grange, call the safer custody hotline.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the City of York Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Askham Grange, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Askham Grange gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.

Accommodation

Around 100 women live at Askham Grange in a mixture of dormitories and single rooms.

It has a mother and baby unit for women with children under 18 months old. All women with babies get their own rooms.

Education and work

Each woman in Askham Grange creates their own learning plan as part of their induction. There are opportunities for classroom learning as well as vocational training and community-based paid work placements.

Temporary release

All residents are able to apply for release on temporary licence which allows them to leave the prison for short periods of time. It can be used to gain work experience in the local community, maintain family ties and prepare for release.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Askham Grange. If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Askham Grange in response to independent inspections.

Contact Askham Grange

Governor: Julia Spence

Telephone (24 hours): 01904 772 000
Fax: 01904 772 001
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP/YOI Askham Grange
Askham Richard
York
YO23 3FT

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a woman in Askham Grange, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone (24 hours): 01904 772 026
Find out about call charges

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Published 21 October 2019