Exeter Prison

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

HMP Exeter is now offering limited visits for family and friends.

To ensure the safety of visitors, residents and staff, there are strict guidelines which must be followed during you visit.

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.

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Book and plan your visit to Exeter

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 resident is on remand, there’s no limit. If the resident 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. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 01392 415 833

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

Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Wednesday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Thursday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm

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 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

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 residents, with or without children, who are on enhanced privilege status. The resident 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 resident 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 a resident during their time at Exeter.

Phone calls

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.

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 from the resident, depending on the rules at Exeter.

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


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 also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to ‘The Governor HMP Exeter’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.

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.

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.

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 a resident 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 residents. There are 4 residential units with a mixture of single and double rooms:

  • A wing for employed and unemployed workers
  • B wing for vulnerable residents
  • C wing for first night and detox
  • D wing for enhanced residents 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 Exeter Prison residents may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Residents can apply for this within the prison.

Organisations Exeter works with

Exeter works with Catch-22 to prepare residents 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 resident.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Exeter. 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 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.

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Published 18 December 2019
Last updated 25 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated information about secure video calls.

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

  3. updated survey link

  4. Update on prison visits.

  5. First published.