High Down Prison

High Down is a men’s prison and young offender institution (YOI) near Sutton in Surrey.

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 High Down

To visit someone in High Down you must:

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

Visits for men who are on remand can be booked up to 8 days in advance. Visits for men who have been convicted can be booked up to 28 days in advance.

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. You can check this with High Down.

Contact High Down 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 High Down
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone or email:

Booking line: 020 7147 6570
Monday to Friday, 10am to midday and 2pm to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to midday
Find out about call charges

You can also book in person at the visitors centre.

If you are not yet on a person’s visitor list, you will need to book by telephone or email.

Residents live in 6 hallblocks which have different visiting times.

Hallblocks 1 to 5 visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2:30pm to 4pm

Hallblock 6 visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Saturday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2:30pm to 4pm

You will not be admitted if you are more than half an hour late.

Legal visits must be booked by email:

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11am, 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 11am, 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 11am, 2:30pm to 4pm

Getting to High Down

Find High Down on a map

High Down is less than a mile from Belmont station and about 2 miles from Sutton station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There are a small number of parking spaces for visitors.

Entering High Down

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, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

High Down has a family-friendly dress code policy which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing things like see-through or revealing clothing, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses, or anything with offensive patterns or slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a small amount of money in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy refreshments in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into High Down. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. 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 Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

It is open from 8:30am to 4:45pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 12:30pm to 4:45pm on weekends.

Telephone: 020 7147 6360
Find out about call charges

There are baby changing facilities and play areas in the visitors centre and visiting hall.

Keep in touch with someone at High Down

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

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 High Down 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 High Down.


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 High Down.

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 ‘HM Prison Service’. Write the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back, as well as your name, address and relationship to the resident.

Cheques may take 3 weeks to clear.

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can hand in clothing for residents within the first 28 days of their arrival at High Down.

The items should be handed in to the visitors centre between 10:30am and 11:45am on visiting days. You must have a visit booked when you bring clothing in.

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

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Contact High Down for more information.

Life at High Down

High Down 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 High Down 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 Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at High Down, 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 High Down gets an induction that lasts 3 days. 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 1100 men live at High Down in 6 hallblocks. There is a mixture of single and shared rooms.

Residents on standard or enhanced behaviour levels can rent TVs in their rooms. Enhanced level residents can also borrow DVDs from the library.

Sports and fitness facilities include 2 gyms with multi-purpose courts, weights and exercise equipment, outdoor fields for team sports, and a broad programme of team activities and classes.

High Down has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing services and support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to education and training provided by The Manchester College. The curriculum includes a wide range of work-based subjects, such as health and safety, customer service, bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, and painting and decorating. Literacy and numeracy form part of every course.

Residents can also work and earn qualifications in the kitchens, industrial cleaning, library, laundry and farms and gardens.

Organisations High Down works with

High Down is a venue for the The Clink Restaurant, a public restaurant run by residents in partnership with The Clink Charity. The residents study for NVQs in cooking, food service and cleaning while they work. They also receive mentoring upon release, including support with employment and accommodation.

St Giles Trust helps prisoners find housing as they approach release.

Kent, Sussex & Surrey Seetec Justice and London MTC Novo work with the National Probation Service to help prisoners settle back into the community with advice on housing, employment, money management and substance misuse.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact High Down

Acting Governor: Katie Jefferson

Telephone: 020 7147 6300
Fax: 020 7147 6301
Find out about call charges


HMP/YOI High Down
High Down Lane

See map

Safer custody hotline

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

Telephone: 020 7147 6571
Find out about call charges

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

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Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 28 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added confirmation of secure video calling availability at this prison.

  2. Updated governor name to Katie Jefferson (acting).

  3. First published.