Full Sutton Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Full Sutton

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 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 prisoners)
  • 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 prisoner’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

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

Or email:

Visiting times:

  • Friday afternoon
  • Saturday morning and afternoon

Visits are 1 hour 45 minutes in length.

During COVID-19 restrictions there will be additional conditions. Visitors are advised to call the booking line for further information and note the following:

  • Maximum 3 adult visitors per prisoner
  • Maximum 35 visits per session
  • Visits are 1 hour 45 minutes duration
  • Visit entitlement one per month
  • Face Coverings must be worn by visitors
  • Visits are strictly non-contact
  • Visits can be contact visits subject to lateral flow COVID testing, further details can be obtained when booking a visit

Booking line: 01759 475 355
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4.30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Thursdays only during COVID-19 restrictions

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

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.

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.

Face Coverings must be worn by visitors. Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to. Hand sanitiser will is readily available. Visitors must wash their hands before entering the search area.

Family days

Family day visits have commenced again, full details are provided to prisoners via a community newsletter.

Keep in touch with someone at Full Sutton

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

Secure video calls

HMP Full Sutton are operating Purple Visits (Secure Video Visits) two per month.

Prisoner’s Families need to download the Purple Visits App from Google or Apple App store on to a Mobile Phone or tablet.

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.


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 prisoner, 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 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

It’s not possible to hand in items or property prisoners or send parcels by post. You can send prisoners 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.

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 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.

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

All new prisoners will be required to reverse cohort for a period of 14 days or provide 2 negative PCR tests.

Induction will be undertaken once reverse cohorting has occurred.

When a prisoner 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 prisoners can take part in varied activities.

Education and work

Prisoners 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

Guided learning in education is open.

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 prisoners. 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.

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

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 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 rules for sending in money and gifts.

  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 visit info

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

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

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

  11. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  12. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  13. Added link to latest action plan and inspection report under the 'Problems and complaints' section.

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  16. First published.