Channings Wood Prison

Channings Wood is a men’s prison near Newton Abbot in Devon.

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

Book and plan your visit to Channings Wood

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Channings Wood you must:

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

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

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

Contact Channings Wood 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 Channings Wood
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Channings Wood is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit online.

You can book your visit by telephone.

Booking line: 01803 812 060
The booking line is open Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) 10am to 2:30pm
Find out about call charges

Enquiries only:

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Saturday and Sunday visits alternate between prisoners in the main prison and the vulnerable prisoners unit. The booking line can advise you on the appropriate weekend day to visit.

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Channings Wood accept video links for the courts, probation interviews, legal visits and inter-prison visits. For court and probation video links, email

For legal visits and inter-prison visits, email

In your email, include:

  • name of the person
  • reason for the video link
  • date and time
  • contact details

Getting to Channings Wood

Find Channings Wood on a map

The closest railway station is Newton Abbot. From there you can take a taxi, or a bus from the bus station which is a 10-minute walk away.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

A small visitor car park is available outside the visitors centre. Once this is full, parking is available on the main prison driveway.

Entering Channings Wood

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.

Channings Wood has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear smart clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons).

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Channings Wood. 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 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 Choices. They can provide you with information and help. You can also buy drinks and snacks and there is a play area for children.

There is also a children’s play area in the visiting hall and snack bar offering hot and cold food and drinks.

Family days

Family visits last a full day and are available for those who are on enhanced privilege status. They must apply for these.

Choices provides a range of activities for the whole family.

Keep in touch with someone at Channings Wood

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Channings Wood.

Secure video calls

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

Read more about how it works

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.


You can send emails to someone in Channings Wood using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the prisoner, depending on the rules at Channings Wood.


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 Channings Wood.

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

People in Channings Wood are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Channings Wood for more information on what’s allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels 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.

Life at Channings Wood

Channings Wood 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 Channings Wood 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 safeguarding processes are overseen by Devon Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Channings Wood, 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 or family needs.


Each person who arrives at Channings Wood gets an induction that lasts about a week. 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.


Channings Wood is split into the main site and the vulnerable prisoners unit and can house around 700 men in total.

There is a gym, sports hall and sports field.

A chapel and separate multi-faith room is available. Appropriate services and meetings are arranged for all major religions.

Education and work

All men at Channings Wood (unless over retirement age) are expected to work and take part in activities to help prepare them for release and reduce reoffending.

The prison has 4 large industrial workshops and many vocational training courses and educational activities as well as offending behaviour programmes.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Channings Wood.

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

Contact Channings Wood

Governor: Huw Sullivan

Telephone: 01803 814 600
Fax: 01803 814 601
Find out about call charges


HMP Channings Wood
Newton Abbot
TQ12 6DW

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of any man in Channings Wood you can call our friends & family hot line on 01803 814679.

Please leave a message with their name, prison number and details of your concerns, also your name, contact number and relationship to them.

The answerphone is monitored both day and night.

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

Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 2 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Secure video calls update.

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

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

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

  5. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  6. Updated physical contact guidance

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

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

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

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

  11. safer custody hotline update

  12. Added safer custody reporting information

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Added survey link

  15. Updated governor name

  16. First published.