Guidance

Garth Prison

Garth is a men’s high security prison near Leyland, Lancashire.

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 Garth

To visit someone in Garth 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

Up to 3 adults and 3 children can visit at a time. At least one visitor must be 18 or older.

Contact Garth 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 Garth
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by email and telephone.

Email: socialvisits.garth@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
Booking line: 01772 443 503
Monday to Thursday, 10am to 11am, 2:30pm to 4pm
Friday, 10am to 11am
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Wednesday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Thursday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 3:45pm

You should arrive between 1:30pm and 2:45pm to allow time to get through security. No visitors will be admitted after 3pm.

Email: socialvisits.garth@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01772 443 503
Monday to Thursday, 10am to 11am, 2:30pm to 4pm
Friday, 10am to 11am
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Wednesday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Thursday: 2pm to 3:45pm

Getting to Garth

Find Garth on a map

Garth is about 5 miles from Leyland station. Local buses run towards Croston Park but you will need to walk the last 2 miles to Garth. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

If coming by car, use the postcode PR26 8LW for sat nav.

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

Entering Garth

On the first visit to Garth, adults will be photographed and fingerprinted for the security system. These will be used to confirm your identity on future visits. Adult men will be asked to wear a wrist band.

You will also need to bring one of the following types of ID to every visit:

  • 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

Children should bring either a passport or birth certificate.

All visitors will pass through a metal detector and be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Garth 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, flip-flops or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons. Additionally, you cannot wear anything with offensive patterns or slogans, football shirts, cargo or combat trousers, uniforms (except school uniforms), hi-visibility clothing, steel toe-capped footwear or football boots. You will need to remove hats, scarves, sunglasses, gloves, large belt buckles, metal hair clips and excessive jewellery before you go in.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £30 in coins (notes are not allowed) to buy food and drink from the canteen in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Garth. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need a £1 coin for this) in the visitors centre. 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 Partners of Prisoners (POPS). Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open on visiting days from 11:30am to 4:30pm.

Telephone: 01772 622 129
Find out about call charges

The visiting hall is on the ground floor and wheelchair accessible. There is a children’s play area with activities organised by a play worker. Parents and guardians remain responsible for their children at all times.

Family days

Garth holds 8 family days a year to give residents more time to spend time with their children in a relaxed setting. They usually take place during the school holidays.

Keep in touch with someone at Garth

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms and are able to make calls every day between 6am and 10pm.

Phones do not accept incoming 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.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Garth 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 Garth.

Letters

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 Garth.

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 ‘The Governor’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Cheques are held for 2 weeks before being sent to the bank. Postal orders over 18 days old are treated the same way.

Gifts and parcels

Residents can apply for permission to receive items from friends and family. The items can then be handed in at the visitors entrance before a visit between 1:05pm and 1:30pm.

There are limits to the number of parcels a resident can receive. Only specific items are allowed. Ask at the visitors centre for details.

Items are not normally accepted by post. However, a resident who is a foreign national or does not get visits can apply for permission for a family member or friend to send items in.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Garth

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

Garth works in partnership with relevant parties including the Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board to manage and support residents.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Garth, 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 be seen by a member of the nursing team to talk about immediate health needs, including medication.

They will also get to speak with a member of the First Night team to discuss any concerns and learn about Samaritans phone access, the prison Listeners scheme, use of the emergency cell bell and unit rules.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Garth 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

They will also meet the chaplaincy team and get a gym induction.

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.

Accommodation

Around 800 men live at Garth. Most men get their own room.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities provided by Novus. These include literacy and numeracy, skills for life, personal and social development and distance learning. Garth is part of the Prisons ICT Academy (PICTA) which helps prepare prisoners for work in information and communications technology (ICT) roles.

Training is available in motor mechanics, light engineering, industrial cleaning and joinery.

Work is available throughout the prison, including the kitchens, PE department, farms and gardens and waste management. Residents are also employed by several industrial workshops, including:

  • plastic injection moulding
  • textiles
  • DHL
  • wheelchair and bike repair
  • print shop
  • light fittings and fire alarm assembly
  • industrial cleaning
  • braille book printing
  • tool hire
  • construction joinery manufacturing

Most roles include the opportunity to study for qualifications.

Garth runs a peer tutor scheme where residents support each other with employment opportunities.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Garth

Partners of Prisoners (POPs) can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents.

You can ask for more information in the visitors centre or contact them by email and telephone.

Email: garthvc@partnersofprisoners.co.uk
Telephone: 01772 622 129
Find out about call charges

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Garth. 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 Garth in response to independent inspections.

Contact Garth

Governor: Steve Pearson

Telephone: 01772 443 300
Fax: 01772 443 301
Find out about call charges

Follow Garth on Twitter

Address

HMP Garth
Ulnes Walton
Leyland
Preston
PR26 8NE

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Garth, call the safer custody hotline. Leave as much information as possible about the resident and your concerns, as well as your contact details. The answerphone is checked regularly.

Telephone: 01772 443 676
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the main telephone number.

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

Published 5 May 2020