Guidance

Dartmoor Prison

Dartmoor is a men’s prison in Devon.

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

Book and plan your visit to Dartmoor

Dartmoor is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 of the National Framework for Prisons.

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.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

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. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Dartmoor 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. Maximum of 3 visitors will be allowed.

Most prisoners in Dartmoor are allowed up to 3 visits per month. You can check this with Dartmoor.

Contact Dartmoor 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 Dartmoor
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

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

The maximum visit time is 1 hour. Visits will be staggered and everyone will get a 1 hour visit within the 2 hour visit session to allow for entry, exit, and cleaning. Visits sessions will be on a rotational wing basis. This is to reduce the risk of a prison wide outbreak and to ensure fairness. You will be informed of the slots available when booking.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

You can also register to use the secure video calls service.

Visits booking line: 01822 322 022

The booking line is open:

  • Monday: 12pm to 3pm
  • Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 1pm
  • Friday: 9am to 12pm

Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Friday: 9:30am to 11:30am
  • Saturday 9:30am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday 9:30am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Dartmoor

Find Dartmoor on a map

The closest railway station is Plymouth. From there you can get a taxi or take the bus, changing at Tavistock.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

There is a free visitors car park.

There is also a disabled visitors car park. Disabled visitors who want to use this car park must contact the prison before your visit on 01822 322 022, Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm, or email socvisdartmoor@justice.gov.uk.

Entering Dartmoor

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.

Dartmoor 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 Dartmoor. 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 buy drinks and snacks and there is a play area for children.

The children’s play area is currently not available to use.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Dartmoor

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

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits 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.

Email

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

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies, depending on the rules at Dartmoor.

Letters

You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Dartmoor.

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

You cannot send gifts and parcels to Dartmoor. Instead you can send money and the prisoner can purchase approved items.

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 Dartmoor

Dartmoor 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 Dartmoor 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 someone first arrives at Dartmoor, 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 Dartmoor gets an induction that lasts about 2 weeks. 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 finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work. Everyone also has a gym induction.

Accommodation

Dartmoor accommodates 640 men in single rooms across 6 wings:

  • Arch Tor
  • Burra Tor
  • Down Tor
  • Fox Tor
  • Granite Tor
  • East Tor

It is a smoke-free site. Prisoners are integrated and live and work together in a supportive community.

Education and work

Dartmoor has a wide range of employment opportunities for prisoners. There is an emphasis on full-time employment, which is available in:

  • catering
  • gardens
  • laundry
  • textiles
  • braille
  • contract services
  • furniture manufacture

The men can also study for NVQ or City & Guilds vocational qualifications while they work.

Education is available full or part time. Opportunities range from basic skills to Open University courses. Vocational training includes:

  • dry lining, brickwork and plastering
  • painting and decorating
  • tiling
  • desktop publishing

Dartmoor works with Weston College and Duchy College.

There are also offending behaviour courses include thinking skills, alcohol and violence programmes.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Dartmoor

Choices can offer families one-to-one support and advice on request if needed.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Dartmoor. 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 Dartmoor in response to independent inspections.

Contact Dartmoor

Governor: Steve Mead

Telephone: 01822 322 000
Fax: 01822 322 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Dartmoor on Twitter

Address

Princetown
Yelverton
Devon
PL20 6RR

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Dartmoor, call the safeguarding line on 01822 322 111. There is an answerphone available.

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

Published 19 November 2019
Last updated 20 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated physical contact guidance

  2. Revised visiting times added.

  3. New visiting times and booking information added.

  4. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

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

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

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

  8. Updated information about secure video calls.

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Updated survey link

  11. Prison visits update

  12. First published.