Drake Hall Prison and Young Offender Institution

Drake Hall is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, for women aged 18 and over.

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Book and plan your visit to Drake Hall

To visit someone in Drake Hall you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 24 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 may be a limit to the number of visits a prisoner can have. You can check this with Drake Hall.

Contact Drake Hall 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 Drake Hall
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online, by email to or by telephone.

Telephone booking line: 0300 060 6501

Find out about call charges

The booking lines are open:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 12pm to 5pm

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Visiting Times:

  • Tuesday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 9.30am to 11.30am and 1:30pm to 3.45pm
  • Sunday: 1:30pm to 3.45pm

Visits booking line: 0300 060 6501
The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 4pm

Drake Hall offers the option to book a Virtual Meeting Room or a face-to-face visit. Please confirm when booking.

Getting to Drake Hall

Find Drake Hall on a map

The closest railway station is Stafford. There is a taxi rank outside but there is no direct bus service from the station to the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

Visitor parking is available opposite the prison, signposted from the main road. Blue Badge holders can park inside the prison. Use the intercom at the car park barrier to access the car park.

Entering Drake Hall

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.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Drake Hall. 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

The family-friendly visitors centre at Drake Hall is run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), a national charity. Visitors are offered a warm welcome, hot and cold drinks, information and support especially if is your first-time visiting Drake Hall.

A visitor experience form can be collected from the visitor’s centre, this outlines what to expect whilst you have a visit at Drake Hall.

Family and Significant Other Strategy

At Drake Hall we recognise that long term separation is an issue that will affect our women, their families and significant others most.

We seek to structure our services in a manner which supports those family units and enable them to maintain strong family ties and bonds.

A family and significant others strategy has been put into place, which outlines our objectives as an establishment, this can be viewed on the

The functional lead for the new Family and Significant other strategy is the Head of Reducing Re-Offending.

Family days

Family days are facilitated by Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) with a total of 12 family and significant other days being held per year.

They are designed to help prisoners and their families and significant others cope with the pressures that long term separation may have on the relationships between family units.

Women are given the guidance and eligibility for applying for these days, which embed the importance of family and significant others involvement within their journey whilst at Drake Hall and maintain key family ties.

Family Day/Significant other visits run from 10am to 3pm.

PACT provide a range of themed fun family-based activities throughout the day allowing the women and their loved ones to create memories and pieces of art/crafts that can be kept as a memento.

Keep in touch with someone at Drake Hall

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

Prisoners have phones in their cells so they have the ability to contact you on a 24 hour basis.

Secure video calls

To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:

  • Download the Prison Video app
  • Create an account
  • Register all visitors
  • Add the prisoner to your contact list.

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 generally have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this. Once purchased, phone credit is added weekly.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security on arrival so you will be able to speak to them during their first few days, once this list has been processed.

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 Drake Hall using the Email a Prisoner service.

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


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

If you do not know their prison number, contact Drake Hall.

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

Gifts are not permitted under any circumstances at Drake Hall. You can send prisoners money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Drake Hall

Drake Hall is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where women can learn new skills to help them on release.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Drake Hall, 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 taken to a single cell in the unit and given bedding, towels and toiletries.

They will be able to contact a family member or significant other by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.


Each prisoner who arrives at Drake Hall 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.


Around 340 prisoners live at Drake Hall in a mixture of single and double cells.

There is also an open unit outside the perimeter fence that gives up to 25 prisoners the opportunity to work in the local community and prepare for release.

They have access to farms and gardens, indoor and outdoor gyms and other facilities in their free time.

Education and work

Each prisoner in Drake Hall creates their own learning plan with a member if the IAG team as part of their induction. There are opportunities for classroom learning as well as vocational training and paid work placements once ROTL is achieved.

Prisoners work in a range of areas including Halfords Academy, DHL Workshop, Gardens, Waste Management Unit and many more and within these areas they can gain qualifications to enhance their employability on release.

Drake Hall has its own branch of the Women’s Institute.

Prisoners at Drake Hall have access to agencies such as Women’s Aid and ANAWIM.

Temporary release

Prisoners have the opportunity to leave the prison for short periods of time. This is known as release on temporary licence. It can be used to gain work experience in the local community, maintain family ties, ensure contact with their children and prepare for release.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01785 774217 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 01785 774250 Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening or complete a safer custody contact form on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline website.
Staff Integrity Hotline 0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
Prisoners’ Families Helpline 0808 808 2003 The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
Unwanted Prisoner Contact 0300 060 6699 If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.

You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email or contact by phone.

Problems and complaints

If you have any other problem contact Drake Hall.

Contact Drake Hall

Governor: Carl Hardwick

Telephone (24 hours): 01785 774 100
Fax: 01785 774 010
Find out about call charges

Follow Drake Hall on Twitter/X


HMP/YOI Drake Hall
ST21 6LQ

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Updates to this page

Published 2 October 2019
Last updated 15 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. Opening hours updated for visits booking telephone line.

  2. Secure video calls update.

  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: Reduced visit schedule and testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

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

  7. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  8. Legal Visits update.

  9. New visiting times and booking information added.

  10. New visiting times and booking information added.

  11. 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.

  12. Updated visit info

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

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

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

  16. Updated: HMP Drake Hall visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus

  17. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  18. Updated body text

  19. updated survey link

  20. Prison visits update.

  21. First published.

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