Gartree Prison

Gartree is a high security men’s prison in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

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Book and plan your visit to Gartree

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Gartree following national lockdown. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel..

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:

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

Keep in touch with someone at Gartree

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

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms and are able to make calls whenever they are in their rooms.

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.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.


You can send emails to someone in Gartree 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 Gartree.


You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope. If you do not know the prisoner number, use his date of birth instead.

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’ and include the man’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

You cannot hand any items into the prison.

People in Gartree are given a list of items that they can buy from approved suppliers. They can also apply to have certain items from the ‘facilities list’ sent in by post. Only when the item has been approved can you send it in. Any other parcel will be returned.

All parcels will be opened and searched by staff, x-rayed and sniffed by a security dog.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

Contact Gartree for more information.

Life at Gartree

Gartree 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 Gartree 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 Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Gartree, they will get to speak to a trained member of staff who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs. They will also be seen by a clinical healthcare professional.

They will get an information pack and usually be issued with any property that arrived with them.

After the reception process, they will be moved to the induction unit where they can take a shower and make phone calls.


Each person who arrives at Gartree gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will be in a double room and 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 be shown the library and gym. Everyone also finds out about Gartree’s therapeutic community, prison rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.


Over 700 men live at Gartree. Most men have their own rooms.

Education and work

All programmes and services at Gartree are designed to help men adapt their behaviour and lower their risk of reoffending. There is support for those with learning disabilities, help with thinking skills, reducing violence and maintaining healthy relationships.

Gartree has a range of workshops that include woodworking, gardening, laundry and IT. Some qualifications are available in the workshops as well.

The prison also provides a recording service for local and regional Talking Newspapers. Men can develop skills in web design and desktop publishing and get involved in the prison newspaper.

Milton Keynes College provides a range of courses, starting with literacy and numeracy. Other courses include English literature, art, cookery, IT, barbering and construction skills. Further education opportunities are offered through distance learning and the Open University.

Organisations Gartree works with

Gartree works with Story Book Dads which helps men in prison to record personal bedtime stories for their children.

It works with Shakespeare Unbard, on a voluntary basis, to get residents involved in drama. The group performs at least one performance each year.

Leicestershire Libraries provide the library facility at Gartree. There is a programme of craft sessions, wellbeing days and speakers along with the books.

The Shannon Trust helps men at Gartree develop their reading skills, build confidence and progress to educational qualifications.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Gartree

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) provides individual support with a range of issues facing families with loved ones in prison. Ask in the visitors centre for more information.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Gartree

Governor: Babafemi Dada

Telephone: 01858 426 600
Fax: 01858 426 601
Find out about call charges


HMP Gartree
Gallow Field Road
Market Harborough
LE16 7RP

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Gartree, call the safer custody hotline. Leave your name, telephone number, the reason for your call and the name and prisoner number of the man you are worried about. You should be called back within 24 hours.

Telephone: 01858 426 886
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the main telephone number and ask for the duty governor.

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Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 21 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visit info

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

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

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

  5. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  6. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  8. First published.