Cardiff Prison

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

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

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, by telephone or by emailing

Family Services booking line will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Booking line: 0300 303 2301 and select social visits option.

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Friday: 2:15pm to 3:45pm

To book a Legal Visit call: 0300 303 2301 and select legal visits option.

To book via email:

Legal visit times:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am to 10am, 10:30am to 11:30am, 2pm to 3pm and 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 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

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

Please be aware that mandatory ‘entry and exit,’ security procedures can cause delay. You are advised to arrive at the prison 30 mins before the start time of your visit. Please be aware exiting the prison may take some time. Please consider these factors when making travel plans/arrangements. Entry and exit procedures are essential in protecting the public and maintaining a safe environment at HMP Cardiff.  

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.

Refreshments are 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

Invisible Walls provide the family services at HMP Cardiff. Advice and support is from the staff.

The visits centre is open daily before visits.

Email with any questions.

Family days

HMP Cardiff run 10 family visits a year, along with 10 baby groups sessions. Additional family interventions are completed when required.

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.

Secure video calls

You will need to download and install the free Prison Video app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store (or equivalent app stores outside the UK) on your phone or tablet device and then create an account. Only people aged 18 or over can register for an account with Prison Video.

You will need to provide your name, address, and date of birth, and upload photos of your ID and face. You will also need to add details of any other people who wish to take part in the video calls with you, such as children, and upload a clear photo of each participant’s face.

You will need to upload ID for people over the age of 18 only, unless the prison specifically asks for anything else.

A user guide and other information is available at

Secure video call times:

  • Tuesday to Friday: 9am to 9:30am, 9:50am to 10:20am, 10:40am to 11:10am, 11:30am to 12pm

How to book a secure video call

You can request a secure video call with someone in this prison via the Prison Video app.

You will receive a notification when your request has been accepted.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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, 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 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.

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.

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 prisoners can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every prisoner at Cardiff Prison has a right to feel safe. The staff 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 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.


Each prisoner 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 prisoners are at Cardiff Prison. There are 6 units with a mixture of single and shared cells. 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 G4S 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: Amanda Corrigan

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

In an emergency

If you think the prisoner is at immediate risk please call the switchboard on 02920 923100 and ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Weekends and outside of office hours, request to speak with the control room operator.

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner at Cardiff prison that are not an immediate concern, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 02920 923 341 24 hour answering machine
Find out about call charges

Leave a message giving as many details as possible including the prisoners name, prisoner number and what wing they are located on if you know it. If you wish, you can leave your own details and a contact number so the prison can give you feedback, if appropriate.

You can also read more information about safer custody concerns on the Prisoners Families website.

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Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 10 November 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added translation

  2. Update to secure video calls.

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  4. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

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

  6. Updated physical contact guidance

  7. New visiting times and booking information.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions

  10. Updated visiting information.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  13. Updated legal visit section

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

  15. added survey link

  16. Added welsh translation

  17. Visit information update

  18. First published.