Guidance

Brinsford Prison

Brinsford is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Featherstone, near Wolverhampton, for men aged 18 to 21.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. 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.

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Book and plan your visit to Brinsford

To visit someone in Brinsford you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 2 days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

You can book 28 days in advance to visit most residents, or 14 days in advance for men on remand. You must give at least 2 days notice if you want to book or change a visit.

Residents can have up to 3 visitors aged 10 or older at a time, and 3 children under 10 for any visit.

Children aged 17 or under must be accompanied by an adult who is on the resident’s approved visitor list.

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

All residents can have one reception visit from their next of kin and one other adult. To book a reception visit call the booking line.

Contact Brinsford 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 Brinsford
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6500
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 5:45pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday: 1:30pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 1:30pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 1:30pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 1:30pm to 4pm

You can book legal and professional visits by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6500
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visits are Monday to Thursday at the following times:

  • 9:20am to 10:20am
  • 10:30am to 11:30am
  • 1:45pm to 3:20pm
  • 3:30pm to 4:30pm

There are no legal visits on bank holidays.

Getting to Brinsford

Find Brinsford on a map

Brinsford is about 6 miles from the closest railway station, Wolverhampton. Local buses run from the station to Featherstone but you will need to walk the last mile to Brinsford. Any visitors arriving by bus should let the visitors centre know on the day in case of potential delays. Alternatively, you can take a taxi.

To plan your journey by public transport:

If you are travelling by car, use the postcode WV10 7PY in your sat nav.

There is a visitors car park next to the visitors centre, which includes disabled parking spaces.

Entering Brinsford

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

  • passport, including expired passports where the photograph is still recognisable
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • student ID card (if it says where you study)
  • employer ID card (if it shows your employer)
  • European Community identity card

Alternatively, bring 2 or more of the following items:

  • birth/marriage certificate
  • rail or bus pass with photo
  • cheque book or credit/debit card
  • employer ID or student ID without photo
  • young person’s ‘proof of age’ card
  • trade union or student union membership card
  • library card, if it has a signature that can be compared with the visitor’s signature
  • rent book
  • non-EU foreign identity or resident’s card

Expired documents will be accepted if they appear satisfactory in other ways.

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

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans or imagery.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visitors centre and visits hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Brinsford. 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 staff in the visitors centre at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, or your behaviour is unacceptable your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre run by Barnardo’s. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open from 4pm on Mondays and 12pm on all other visiting days.

Family days

Brinsford holds family days every month.

Residents can apply to be included and if successful their families will be contacted by the family visits team to confirm arrangements.

Keep in touch with someone at Brinsford

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms but these cannot receive incoming calls so they will always 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 when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

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 Brinsford using the Email a Prisoner service.

You can also attach photos and receive replies from the resident.

Letters

You can write at any time.

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

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Brinsford.

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 cash. Any cash you send in must be clearly labelled with the resident’s name and prisoner number, otherwise the money cannot be allocated and will be treated as anonymous cash.

Gifts and parcels

People in Brinsford are given a list of approved items that they can order through a catalogue system. You can send them money for this.

Residents can also apply to have their own clothes sent to them. If you receive an approved clothing application, you can send in clothes. You should include a copy of the approved application in the parcel. Make sure to also include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Contact Brinsford for more information on what’s allowed.

Life at Brinsford

Brinsford is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Each person is supported based on their specific educational and personal needs.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Brinsford, 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.

New residents will spend their first night in a dedicated first night centre where staff are specifically trained to support people through the transition to prison life. 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 Brinsford gets an induction on a specialised unit that lasts 3 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 and offending behaviour programmes
  • information about day-to-day life at Brinsford and how to make the best of their time there

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

Accommodation

Just under 600 men live at Brinsford across 5 units. Many residents get their own room. Residents on the ‘enhanced’ behaviour level can apply to live in unit 5, where rooms include a shower.

Residents have access to a gym, sports hall and outdoor pitches and can take part in a varied programme of work and education activities.

Brinsford also has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Residents and staff work together to make sure that everyone at Brinsford takes care of each other and their environment. Levels of cleanliness and hygiene are important.

Brinsford has a prisoner council. Representatives attend regular meetings and share information with other residents. They can also raise issues on their behalf.

Education and work

Residents have access to education and training provided by NOVUS. A range of academic and vocational courses are provided based on the needs of our residents.

Brinsford offers a wide range of activities and work roles based on personal development and employability skills. Activities include:

  • domestic duties
  • cleaning duties
  • kitchen
  • gym
  • chapel
  • library
  • gardens
  • painting parties
  • careers advice
  • painting and decorating
  • cookery
  • industrial cleaning
  • music
  • construction services
  • physical education
  • industrial packing
  • catering

As a key partner with the local chamber of commerce, Brinsford is continually assessing local projects to expand employment opportunities.

Brinsford also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Temporary release

Residents at Brinsford may be eligible for release on temporary licence (ROTL). This is assessed on individual factors and circumstances. ROTL can be used to prepare residents for employment and release. Success on ROTL can lead to other benefits, such as weekend home visits.

Brinsford also operates the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) early release scheme. Residents who are eligible for HDC will be told when they can apply for this. Approval for HDC will be based on things like behaviour, meeting sentence plan targets and having a suitable home to go to. If residents do not have access to a suitable home, they can still apply for early release using accommodation provided by our partners BASS.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Brinsford

The visitors centre at Brinsford is run by Barnardo’s. Trained, experienced staff are available during visit sessions to help families. They will also give people information about the range of support services available in the local community.

The team includes a dedicated family engagement worker and a child support worker who have specific roles. These roles include child activity and community support, as well as help for prisoners in repairing difficult or damaged family relationships.

Call or ask in the visitors centre for more information.

Telephone: 01384 411 722
Find out about call charges

You can also write to:

Barnardos
4 Barrack Lane
Halesowen
West Midlands
B63 2UX

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Brinsford. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

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

Contact Brinsford

Governor: Heather Whitehead

Telephone (24 hours): 01902 533 450

Find out about call charges

Address

HMP/YOI Brinsford
New Road
Featherstone
Wolverhampton
WV10 7PY

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you are worried about a resident at Brinsford, you can call the 24 hour safer custody helpline.

Telephone: 01902 533 565

Leave your name and contact number, the name and prisoner number of the person you are calling about and a brief message. A member of the safety team will call you back.

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

Published 5 May 2020