Guidance

Cardiff Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Cardiff prison

Cardiff prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 3 of the National Framework for Prisons. We are now preparing to open for visits and we will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

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

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 prisoner can have. This varies depending on their circumstances. You can check this with Cardiff Prison.

Email socialvisits.cardiff@justice.gov.uk 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

HMP Cardiff is currently operating a limited visits schedule for family and friends. You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 029 2092 3327
The booking line is open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 3pm
  • Tuesday: no visits
  • Wednesday: 2pm to 3pm
  • Thursday: no visits
  • Friday: 2pm to 3pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 3pm
  • Sunday: no visits

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

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 suzanne.cartwright@justice.gov.uk with any questions.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Cardiff Prison

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

Phone calls

Prisoners 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.

Email

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, depending on the rules at Cardiff Prison.

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 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 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

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

Prisoners 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 prisoners 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 someone 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

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 prisoners of all physical abilities. They also have access to library facilities.

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

Education and work

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

Prisoners 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, prisoners 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 prisoners in partnership with The Clink Charity. The prisoners 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 prisoners. 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

Address

HMP Cardiff
Knox Road
Cardiff
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 9 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. New visiting times and booking information.

  2. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  3. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions

  4. Updated visiting information.

  5. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  6. Added confirmation of secure video calls made available at Cardiff prison.

  7. Updated legal visit section

  8. Updated: visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  9. added survey link

  10. Added welsh translation

  11. Visit information update

  12. First published.