Exeter Prison

Exeter is a men’s prison in Exeter city centre in Devon.

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Book and plan your visit to Exeter


Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

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 Exeter 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 person in Exeter Prison can have. If the prisoner is on remand, there’s no limit. If the prisoner has been convicted (they have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing), it ranges from 1 to 4 visits per month depending on their behaviour level and privileges they have earned. You can check this with Exeter.

Contact Exeter 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 Exeter
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Exeter is currently operating a limited visits schedule for family and friends. You can book your visit by telephone.

Booking line: 01392 415 833

The booking line is open: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4:30pm

Find out about call charges

You can book your visit online.

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2:15pm to 4:15pm
  • Thursday: 2:15pm to 4:15pm
  • Friday: 2:15pm to 4:15pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Exeter

Find Exeter on a map

The closest railway stations are Exeter Central (300 meters from the prison) and Exeter St Davids (2 kilometers from the prison). Buses run from Exeter St Davids into the city centre.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

The prison has no car parking available for visitors. You should use city centre parking or park and ride schemes.

Entering Exeter

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 rub-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Exeter 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 Exeter. 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 and there is a play area for children.

Family days

Family visits are available for prisoners, with or without children, who are on enhanced privilege status. The prisoner must apply for these. They are held once a month and last from 2:15pm to 4:15pm.

Child-centred family visits are held once every school holiday. The prisoner must apply for these.

Choices provides a range of activities for the whole family.

Keep in touch with someone at Exeter

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

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video app, create an account, register all visitors and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners 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.

Phones are available 6:30am to 10pm.

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 Exeter using the Email a Prisoner service.

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


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 Exeter.

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 Exeter can only receive parcels if they are brought in on a visit. They must apply in advance and specify the items they want to be brought in.

Contact Exeter for more information on what’s allowed.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Prisoners can also buy personal items from approved catalogues.

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 Exeter

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

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

If you have any concerns, contact the safer custody team.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Devon Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When someone first arrives at Exeter, they will be able to contact a family member by phone (if there are no public protection restrictions). 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.

They will be issued with clothing, bedding and toiletries, and have the opportunity to purchase personal items.


Each person who arrives at Exeter 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.


Exeter has around 560 prisoners. There are 4 residential units with a mixture of single and double rooms:

  • A wing for employed and unemployed workers
  • B wing for vulnerable prisoners
  • C wing for first night and detox
  • D wing for enhanced prisoners in a self-contained unit with its own workshop and education area

There is also F wing, which provides social care.

There is a gym, sports hall, healthcare team, library and chapel.

Education and work

Education and employment opportunities are available to all men in Exeter Prison after their induction. Accredited courses include:

  • English
  • maths
  • IT
  • personal development and social skills
  • art
  • behaviour management
  • employability skills
  • horticulture
  • painting and decorating
  • peer mentoring
  • gym instructor
  • English for speakers of other languages
  • Shannon Trust reading programme

Employment opportunities include local and national contracts offering light assembly and packing tasks, textiles work and model train assembly and painting.

Temporary release

Some prisoners may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Prisoners can apply for this within the prison.

Organisations Exeter works with

Exeter works with Catch-22 to prepare prisoners for release and resettlement.

Exeter has links to community providers to help prepare individuals for life after prison, with support for employment, housing and money management.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Exeter

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

You can call the prison chaplaincy team on 01392 415 700 if you need support when passing on bad news, such as a bereavement, to a prisoner.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Exeter.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Exeter in response to independent inspections.

Contact Exeter

Governor: Richard Luscombe

Telephone: 01392 415 650
Fax: 01392 415 691
Find out about call charges


HMP Exeter
30 New North Road

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Exeter, call the safer custody hotline. There is an answerphone that is checked several times a day.

Telephone: 0800 496 1874
Find out about call charges

If you have an immediate concern, call the main switchboard.

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

Published 18 December 2019
Last updated 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  2. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

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

  4. Updated physical contact guidance

  5. New visiting times and booking information added.

  6. 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.

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

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

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

  10. Updated information about secure video calls.

  11. HMP Exeter visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  12. updated survey link

  13. Update on prison visits.

  14. First published.