Featherstone is a men’s prison in the village of Featherstone, near Wolverhampton.
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Book and plan your visit to Featherstone
Featherstone prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 3 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.
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.
To visit someone in Featherstone you must:
- be on that person’s visitor list
- book your visit at least 2 days in advance
- have the required ID with you when you go
You can book up to 28 days in advance.
Prisoners can have up to 3 adult visitors at a time (18 or over) plus children.
A person can have as many visits as they have visiting orders for. You can check this with the person you are going to visit.
Contact Featherstone 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 Featherstone
- somewhere to stay overnight
How to book family and friends visits
Featherstone 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.
- Tuesday to Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 2pm to 4pm
How to book legal and professional visits
There are currently no legal visits taking place.
Getting to Featherstone
The closest railway station is Wolverhampton, which is about 6 miles from the prison. There are regular buses from Wolverhampton city centre to Featherstone village but you will need to walk the last mile.
To plan your journey by public transport:
There is a visitors car park at the prison, including spaces for Blue Badge holders.
The Discharge Lounge (Oakwood) run a shuttle bus for £5 one way to the train station. Contact Featherstone to find out more.
All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:
- 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 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.
There will be no refreshments available during your visit.
There are strict controls on what you can take into Featherstone. 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.
There is a visitors centre run by Barnardo’s, where there are baby changing facilities available.
There will be no refreshments available during your visit and the children’s play area will not be available to use.
The centre is open daily, except Monday and Friday, from midday to 4:30pm.
There are currently no family days being run.
Keep in touch with someone at Featherstone
There are several ways you can keep in touch with someone during their time at Featherstone.
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.
Prisoners have phones in their rooms but these can only make outgoing calls 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.
You can send emails to someone in Featherstone using the Email a Prisoner service.
You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies, depending on the rules at Featherstone.
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 Featherstone.
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
You can only send items to people in Featherstone in exceptional circumstances. Prisoners can apply to the governor for permission.
All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.
Life at Featherstone
Featherstone 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 Featherstone 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 Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board.
Featherstone also trains prisoners to be ‘listeners’ for those who need support during difficult times.
Arrival and first night
When someone first arrives at Featherstone, 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. All rooms in the first night centre have phones that can be used at any time.
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 checked on regularly throughout their first 24 hours at Featherstone to make sure they are supported through their induction.
Each person who arrives at Featherstone 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.
All new prisoners will be given a key worker who will come and get to know them.
Around 690 men live at Featherstone across 7 house units. There is a mixture of single and shared rooms.
Facilities include a gym and library.
Education and work
Education at Featherstone is provided by Novus. They run a number of academic courses including Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2 Maths and English and ITQ.
They also run vocational courses including:
- painting and decorating
- brick laying
Prisoners can also complete higher level qualifications through the Open University.
There are a wide range of activities and interventions available for prisoners to develop their skills and progress through their sentence.
Featherstone also runs specialist qualifications in RMF rail track, motor vehicle and tyre fitting.
Prisoners can also work in a wide range of workshops, including industries, construction, textiles and a print shop.
Support for family and friends
Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.
Support at Featherstone
Families can get help and advice from the family engagement team at the visitors centre.
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Featherstone. 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 Featherstone in response to independent inspections.
Governor: Laura Whitehurst
Telephone (24 hours): 01902 703 000
Fax: 01902 703 001
Find out about call charges
Safer custody hotline
If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Featherstone, contact the safer custody team.
Safer custody hotline: 01902 703081
In an emergency, contact the main switchboard.
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