Durham Prison is a men’s prison in the city of Durham.
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Book and plan your visit to Durham
Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Durham following national lockdown. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel.
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:
- leave a voice message using the Prison Voicemail Service
- send them an email using the email a prisoner service
- write to them
- 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
You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.
Keep in touch with someone at Durham
There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Durham.
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.
Residents have phones in their rooms but 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 Durham 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 Durham.
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 Durham.
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.
Gifts and parcels
People in Durham are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Durham 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 Durham
Durham 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 Durham has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.
All safeguarding processes are overseen by County Durham Safeguarding Adults Inter-Agency Parntership.
Arrival and first night
When a resident first arrives at Durham, 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 be able to have a shower and speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.
Each person who arrives at Durham 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.
Almost 1000 men live at Durham, mostly on remand (they have not yet been sentenced).
There are 7 wings plus a segregation unit and healthcare centre.
Education and work
Residents in Durham Prison have the opportunity to take part in education, vocational training and employability courses.
Education is provided by Novus and includes:
- skills for life
- customer service
- English for speakers of other languages
Vocational training is available that reflects the local employment market. It covers:
- food and hospitality
Support for family and friends
Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.
Support at Durham
The visitors centre at Durham is run by Nepacs who can offer help and support.
Contact Nepacs on: 0191 332 3676
Find out about call charges
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Durham. 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 Durham in response to independent inspections.
Governor: Phil Husband
Telephone (24 hours): 01913 323 400
Fax: 01913 323 401
Find out about call charges
Safer custody hotline
If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Durham, call the safer custody hotline.
Telephone: 0191 332 3695 (ask to be put through to safer custody)
Find out about call charges
For less urgent queries, email email@example.com. This mailbox is monitored Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.