Guidance

Channings Wood Prison

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

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 Channings Wood

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

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01803 812 060
Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) 9am to midday, 1:45pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Enquiries only: socialvisits.channingswood@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

Visiting times:

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

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

Booking line: 01803 812 060
Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), 9am to midday, 1:45pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11:30am
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 11:30am

Channings Wood accept video links for the courts, probation interviews, legal visits and inter-prison visits. For court and probation video links, email OMU.channingswood@justice.gov.uk.

For legal visits and inter-prison visits, email legalvisits.channingswood@justice.gov.uk.

In your email, include:

  • name of the resident
  • 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 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

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).

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 and each child a maximum of £10 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 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 residents who are on enhanced privilege status. The resident 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 resident during their time at Channings Wood.

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.

Email

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 resident, depending on the rules at Channings Wood.

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 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 also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

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.

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.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Devon Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

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. 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 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

Address

HMP Channings Wood
Denbury
Newton Abbot
Devon
TQ12 6DW

See map

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Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 5 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added survey link

  2. Updated governor name

  3. First published.