Askham Grange Prison and Young Offender Institution

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

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Book and plan your visit to Askham Grange

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

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

Askham Grange is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 0300 060 6513
Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Saturday and Sunday: 2pm to 3pm


Visiting times:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 11:30am and 1pm to 3pm.

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 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID for all visitors..

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit. There will be no play area available for children.

Family days

Family Days are currently unavailable

Keep in touch with someone at Askham Grange

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

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video app, create an account, register all visitors and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners 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.


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 prisoner, depending on the rules at Askham Grange.


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 no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.

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

This will allow you to send money by post.

Gifts and parcels

Prisoners 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.

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.   For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

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

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

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

Arrival and first night

When a prisoners 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.


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.


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 prisoners 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.

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


HMP/YOI Askham Grange
Askham Richard
YO23 3FT

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner in Askham Grange that is urgent, but not life threatening, call the safer custody hotline.

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

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Published 21 October 2019
Last updated 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  2. Updated visiting information: Visits have been suspended.

  3. Updated visiting information: Reduced visit schedule and testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  4. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  5. Updated physical contact guidance

  6. New visiting times and booking information added.

  7. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  8. Covid update

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions

  10. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  12. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  13. Covid update

  14. Updated: HMP Askham Grange visiting times and visiting procedure changes in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  16. Prison visits update.

  17. First published.