Guidance

Bedford Prison

Bedford Prison is a prison in the centre of Bedford for men aged 18 and over.

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Book and plan your visit to Bedford prison

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Bedford prison. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. You can:

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

Keep in touch with someone at Bedford Prison

You may not be able to speak with someone at Bedford Prison during their first few days. This is because it can take up to 5 days to approve who they can be in touch with.

Residents do not have phones in their rooms so they will always need to call you rather than you call them.

Phone calls

Residents can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by the public protection team.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

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

Secure video calls

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

Read more about how it works

Email

You can send emails to someone in Bedford Prison 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 Bedford Prison.

Letters

Include the person’s full name and prisoner number (if you have it) on the envelope.

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
  • cheques

Postal orders should be made payable to the resident using their full name and prisoner number. Cheques should be made payable to HMPPS and include the resident’s full name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Bedford Prison can buy permitted items from approved online retailers.

For other requests, contact Bedford Prison for more information on what’s allowed.

If approved, make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Bedford Prison

Bedford Prison is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

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

If you have any concerns about a prisoner at Bedford Prison, contact the Safer Custody team or speak to a member of staff at the visitors centre.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Bedford Safeguarding Adults Team.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Bedford, 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 Bedford Prison gets an induction that lasts about 2 days. 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

About 500 men live at Bedford Prison.

Education and work

Residents have access to a range of work, training and education opportunities including:

  • industrial cleaning
  • painting and decorating
  • independent living skills
  • production workshops
  • physical education qualifications
  • laundry
  • kitchens

They can also get help and support on issues such as health and wellbeing, substance misuse, housing, debt and family relationships in preparation for release.

Support for family and friends

Bedford works with Ormiston Families, a charity supporting children, young people and families to manage the challenges they face and improve their life chances. The Ormiston Families team is based in the visitors centre. It provides support and information to help you access available services.

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Bedford Prison. 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 Bedford Prison in response to independent inspections.

Contact Bedford Prison

Governor: Patrick Butler

Telephone: 01234 373 000
Fax: 01234 273 568
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Bedford
St Loyes
Bedford
MK40 1HG

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Bedford, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01234 373 069
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

safercustodybedford@justice.gov.uk

An answerphone is available out of these hours that is checked twice a day. You can also call the main prison telephone number if out of hours.

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Published 19 November 2019
Last updated 6 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Covid update

  2. Updated visit info

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

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

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

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

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Visits information updated

  10. First published.