Dartmoor Prison

Dartmoor is a men’s prison in Devon.

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Book and plan your visit to Dartmoor

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Dartmoor. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be exceptions for compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel. We will update here as soon as this changes.

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:

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

Keep in touch with someone at Dartmoor

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident 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

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.


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 from the resident, depending on the rules at Dartmoor.


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 also send a cheque. Make the cheque payable to HMPPS and either write the residents details on the back of the cheque or in an attached letter.

Gifts and parcels

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

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 a resident 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.


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.


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. Residents are integrated and live and work together in a supportive community.

Education and work

Dartmoor has a wide range of employment opportunities for residents. 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: Bridie Oakes-Richards

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

Follow Dartmoor on Twitter


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.

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Published 19 November 2019
Last updated 4 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

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

  4. Updated information about secure video calls.

  5. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  6. Updated survey link

  7. Prison visits update

  8. First published.