Guidance

Grendon Prison

Grendon is a men’s prison in the village of Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire. It is jointly managed with Spring Hill Prison, which is on the same site.

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 Grendon

To visit someone in Grendon you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 3 working days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There are limits to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with the resident.

Contact Grendon 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 Grendon
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You must book your visit online.

If you have any questions about your visit, contact:

Email: socialvisits.grendon@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 01296 445 243
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

You must call to arrange a legal visit.

Telephone: 01296 445 243
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times will be confirmed on the phone.

Getting to Grendon

Find Grendon on a map

The closest railway stations are Bicester Village and Bicester North which are about 8 miles from Grendon. There are no buses from Bicester so you will need to get a taxi.

Aylesbury station is 13 miles from Grendon where you can catch a local bus on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a car park outside the main gate, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Grendon

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • 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

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

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be asked to cover up if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Grendon. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker 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 the prison where family and friends can relax, get a free tea or coffee and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open from 12:30pm on visiting days.

Telephone: 01296 445 243
Find out about call charges

The centre includes a play area for children and lockers to store your belongings. You will need a £1 coin for this.

There are indoor and outdoor play areas and baby changing facilities in the visiting hall.

Family days

Grendon holds regular family days and children’s days throughout the year. These special visits give residents more time to spend with their families in a relaxed setting. The days include time on the wings and organised activities.

Residents qualify for these visits by taking part in Grendon’s therapeutic communities.

Keep in touch with someone at Grendon

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

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.

They can make calls between 8:15am and 7:10pm Monday to Friday and between 8:15am and 5:10pm on weekends.

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 Grendon 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 Grendon.

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 Grendon.

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.

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can send books to residents. Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel. They will be opened and checked by officers.

It’s not possible to send any other items or property. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Grendon

Life at Grendon is organised around a programme of group therapy called a ‘democratic therapeutic community’.

Residents take part in regular group meetings and activities designed to help them develop more positive relationships, take an active role within their wing, reduce their risk of re-offending and improve their psychological wellbeing.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Grendon 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 Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Grendon, 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.

Induction

During a resident’s first week at Grendon they will meet a range of staff 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.

Accommodation

Around 200 men live at Grendon across 6 residential units. All men get their own rooms.

Residents have access to a college, library, gym and chaplaincy.

Education and work

All residents are expected to engage in either education or employment alongside their commitment to therapy.

Learning opportunities are provided by Milton Keynes College. Qualifications are available in:

  • functional skills, including IT
  • mentoring
  • business studies
  • customer service
  • horticulture

There is a range of work throughout the prison, including cleaning duties, orderly roles, laundry, pan wash, cooking and painting.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Grendon

Grendon’s visits coordinator can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. Ask in the visitors centre to learn more.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Grendon

Governor: Becky Hayward

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 000
Fax: 01296 445 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Grendon on Twitter

Address

HMP Grendon
Grendon Underwood
Buckinghamshire
HP18 0TL

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Grendon, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 026
Find out about call charges

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Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 6 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. added survey link

  2. First published.