Cardiff Prison

Cardiff Prison is a men’s prison in the centre of Cardiff, Wales.

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 Cardiff Prison

To visit someone in Cardiff Prison you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 48 hours in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There are limits to the number of visits a resident can have. This varies depending on their circumstances. You can check this with Cardiff Prison.

Email 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 Cardiff Prison
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone. You will need to know the resident’s prisoner number and date of birth.

Booking line: 029 2092 3327
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm
  • Tuesday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Wednesday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Thursday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 9:45am to 10:45am, 1:30pm to 2:30pm
  • Sunday: 1:30pm to 2:30pm


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 029 2092 3327
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visits are Monday to Friday at the following times:

  • 9:15am to 10:15am
  • 10:15am to 11:15am
  • 2pm to 3pm
  • 3:15pm to 4:15pm

Getting to Cardiff Prison

Find Cardiff Prison on a map

Cardiff Prison is about a mile from Cardiff Central station and next to Cardiff Queen Street station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is no visitor parking but there is an NCP multi-story car park directly opposite the prison. The road outside the prison also allows Blue Badge holders to make short stops.

Entering Cardiff Prison

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

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • European Community identity card

You also need proof of address, such as a recent utility bill or credit card statement.

Children under 16 need their birth certificate or red book.

All visitors will need to 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. Ask at the visitors centre if you have questions about appropriate dress.

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 visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Cardiff Prison. 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, which can be stored inside the entrance. Cardiff has pushchairs that can be borrowed while visiting.

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

There is a visitors centre run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open daily before and after visits.

Email with any questions.

Family days

PACT organises monthly family days giving residents time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

Ask at the visitors centre to learn more and apply for visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Cardiff Prison

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

Phone calls

Residents do not have phones in their rooms 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.


You can send emails to someone in Cardiff 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 Cardiff Prison.


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 Cardiff Prison.

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 cheques and postal orders. These should be made payable to ‘HMP Cardiff’ and include the resident’s name, date of birth and prisoner number on the back, as well as your name and address. Cheques may take up to 2 weeks to clear.

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can hand in the following items before a visit on a Saturday or Sunday:

  • court clothes (shirts, trousers, shoes, ties and jackets)
  • underwear and up to 5 pairs of socks
  • reading glasses or contact lenses

Residents on ‘enhanced’ behaviour or on remand are also allowed one top and one pair of bottoms. There are some restrictions, including no hoodies, black or white tops, zips or football shirts.

Make sure to label the items with the person’s name and prisoner number.

All items will be opened and checked by officers.

Contact Cardiff Prison for more information on gifts and parcels.

Life at Cardiff Prison

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

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Cardiff Prison 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 Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Safeguarding Adults Board.

All residents are allocated a key worker to support them during their time in prison. There is also 24 hour health care cover.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Cardiff Prison, 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. They will be offered the chance to have a shower, a hot meal and drink before being moved into the first night centre.


Each person who arrives at Cardiff Prison gets an induction. 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
  • religious requirements
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

There is also an induction presentation which covers prison rules, fire safety, behaviour and how things like calls and visits work.


Around 800 men live at Cardiff Prison. There are 6 units with a mixture of single and shared rooms. Each unit includes showers and telephones.

There is a gym offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities. They also have access to library facilities.

There is a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Cardiff Prison aims to provide all residents with purposeful activity and provides a full-time programme of education and work.

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, ranging from basic skills, such as English, Welsh and maths, to higher learning and qualifications.

Through industry workshops, residents can learn barista skills, production and manufacturing, industrial cleaning, street and rail works and more.

Work is available throughout the prison, including wing cleaning, wing painting and kitchen duties.

Cardiff Prison also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Organisations Cardiff Prison works with

Cardiff Prison is a venue for the The Clink Restaurant, a public restaurant run by residents in partnership with The Clink Charity. The residents study for NVQs in cooking, food service and cleaning while they work. They also receive mentoring upon release, including support with employment and accommodation.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Cardiff Prison

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.

Telephone: 029 2092 3389
Find out about call charges

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Cardiff Prison

Governor: Helen Ryder

Telephone (24 hours): 029 2092 3100
Fax: 029 2092 3318
Offender management unit (OMU)/custody fax: 029 2092 3334
Find out about call charges


HMP Cardiff
Knox Road
CF24 0UG

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Cardiff, call the switchboard and ask to speak to a member of the safer custody team or the control room operator.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 5 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. added survey link

  2. Added welsh translation

  3. Visit information update

  4. First published.