Full Sutton Prison

Full Sutton is a men’s high security prison in the village of Full Sutton, near York.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. 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:

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

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Book and plan your visit to Full Sutton

To visit someone in Full Sutton you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 24 hours in advance (5 days for high risk residents)
  • 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, depending on the resident’s earned ‘privileges’.

Contact Full Sutton 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 Full Sutton
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01759 475 355
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

Or email:

Visiting times:

  • Thursday: 2:30pm to 4:15pm
  • Friday: 1:30pm to 4:15pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4:15pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4:15pm


Visiting times:

  • Thursday: 2:30pm to 4:15pm
  • Friday: 9am to 11am, 1:30pm to 4:15pm

Weekend visits can be arranged on request.

Getting to Full Sutton

Find Full Sutton on a map

Full Sutton is about 11 miles from York station. There is a limited local bus service between York and Full Sutton but no return service. A taxi will cost between £20 and £30. Ask the visitors centre if you need advice.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Full Sutton

On your first visit to Full Sutton, adults (over 18s) will be photographed and fingerprinted for the security system. These will be used to confirm identity on future visits.

Visitors to high risk prisoners will have a police background check.

You will also need to bring 3 forms of ID. At least one should be photo ID.

Acceptable forms of photo ID include:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • employer or student ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community or other foreign national identity card

Acceptable forms of other ID include:

  • water, electricity or gas bill
  • bank or building society statement
  • credit card statement

Bills and statements must be dated within the last 3 months.

Children and babies must bring a birth certificate or passport.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Full Sutton has a family-friendly dress code policy which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut skirts or dresses, shorts, see-through or ripped clothing or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons.

Additionally, you cannot wear anything with offensive patterns or slogans, ponchos, cargo or combat trousers, uniforms (except school uniforms), steel toe-capped footwear, football boots or boots above knee length. You will need to remove hats, scarves, sunglasses, gloves, large belt buckles and chains.

Ask in the visitors centre if you have questions about the dress code.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £25 (£20 notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy refreshments in the visitor centre and hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Full Sutton. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in the visitors centre. This includes pushchairs and car seats. There are lockers for valuables, which take a token.

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 Partners of Prisoners (POPS). Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff. It has accessible toilets, baby changing facilities and a small play area.

The centre is open on visiting days from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Family days

The prison holds about 10 family days a year, during school holidays.

These are longer and more informal visits with planned activities and a family lunch set up by Partners of Prisoners (POPS).

Residents can apply for these.

Keep in touch with someone at Full Sutton

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Full Sutton.

Phone calls

Residents 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.


You can send emails to someone in Full Sutton 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 Full Sutton.


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 Full Sutton.

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 and cheques. These should be made payable to ‘Governor at HMP Full Sutton’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

It’s not possible to hand in items or property for residents or send parcels by post. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

There are some exceptions, for example, books can be handed in and also clothes for a court appearance but check with the prison first.

Life at Full Sutton

Full Sutton is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men convicted of serious offences can make positive use of long sentences.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Full Sutton 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 East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Full Sutton, 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.


Each person who arrives at Full Sutton 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.


Around 600 men live at Full Sutton and they all get their own room.

There’s a gym and sports facilities where residents can take part in varied activities.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities and training in trades and professions.

Work is available throughout the prison and in the industrial workshops. This includes:

  • textiles
  • assembly and packing
  • braille transcription
  • desktop publishing
  • catering
  • DHL warehousing and distribution
  • industrial cleaning
  • orderly duties
  • cycle repair for charity

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Full Sutton

The Partners of Prisoners (POPS) family support team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.

Telephone: 01759 575 440
Find out about call charges

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Full Sutton. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Full Sutton

Governor: Gareth Sands

Telephone: 01759 475 100
Fax: 01759 371 206
Find out about call charges

Follow Full Sutton on Twitter


HMP Full Sutton
Moor Lane
Full Sutton
YO41 1PS

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Full Sutton, call and ask to speak to the safer custody team or an orderly officer.

Telephone (24 hours): 01759 475 068
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 25 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  2. First published.