Guidance

Erlestoke Prison

Erlestoke is a men’s prison in the village of Erlestoke, Wiltshire.

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

Book and plan your visit to Erlestoke

Erlestoke 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 Erlestoke 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 Erlestoke.

Contact Erlestoke 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 Erlestoke
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

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

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

Booking line: 0300 303 0634
Monday to Friday, 9:15am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Thursday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm and 3:15pm to 4:15pm
  • Friday: no visits
  • Saturday and Sunday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm and 3:15pm to 4:15pm

To book Legal visits please email: LegalVisits.Erlestoke@justice.gov.uk.

Getting to Erlestoke

Find Erlestoke on a map

The closest railway station is Westbury, which is about 7 miles from Erlestoke.

The Friends of Erlestoke Prison run a return transport service on visiting days from Westbury station and Devizes town centre.

To book the service:

Email: friendstransportscheme@gmail.com
Telephone or text: 07504 987190
Find out about call charges

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park at the main gate. Parking can be arranged nearer the entrance for those with access needs. Contact Erlestoke to discuss.

Entering Erlestoke

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.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans. Ask at the visitors centre if you have questions about appropriate dress.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a small amount of 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 Erlestoke. 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 the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The Visitors Centre is open at the following times:

  • Thursday: 12:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Telephone: 01380 816 828
Find out about call charges

There is a children’s play area and a snack bar serving hot and cold food and drinks in the visiting hall.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Erlestoke

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

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 Erlestoke using the Email a Prisoner service.

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

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 Erlestoke.

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

People in Erlestoke are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Erlestoke 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.

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 Erlestoke

Erlestoke Prison strives to provide a safe, decent and secure environment for prisoners, staff and visitors. They focus on preparing prisoners for release with training and education in a social environment.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Erlestoke has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Wiltshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When someone first arrives at Erlestoke, 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 needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Erlestoke 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

Over 500 men live at Erlestoke across 8 units. Most men get their own room.

Education and work

All prisoners are expected to engage in purposeful activity during their time at Erlestoke. There are a range of opportunities to study, train or work throughout the prison.

Prisoners can work in areas such as the kitchens and the farms and gardens and earn qualifications at the same time.

Erlestoke also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programme courses.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Erlestoke

The visitors centre at Erlestoke is run by PACT. Staff are available to help prisoners and their friends and family.

There is a dedicated helpline on 01380 816 828. You can speak to someone through this line during the visitors centre opening hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Outside of those times you can leave a message and someone will get back to you when the visitors centre is open.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Erlestoke

Governor: Tim Knight

Telephone: 01380 814 250
Fax: 01380 814 273
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Erlestoke
Erlestoke
Devizes
Wiltshire
SN10 5TU

See map

Safer custody

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a friend or family member in HMP Erlestoke, please call the Safer Custody Hotline. There is an answer machine facility which is checked periodically three times a day. Please leave as much information as possible along with your telephone number so that staff can call you back within the following 24 hour period.

Safer Custody Hotline 01380 814 373

In an emergency or your call is urgent, please call the Main Switchboard and ask to speak with the Orderly Officer or Duty Manager.

Main Switchboard 01380 814 250.

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

Published 19 May 2020
Last updated 2 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated physical contact guidance

  2. New visiting times and booking information added.

  3. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions

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

  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 visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Updated safer custody information.

  10. Updated safer custody telephone information

  11. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  12. First published.