High Down Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to High Down

High Down prison is at stage 3 in the National Framework for Prisons. We are now preparing to open for visits and we will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

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 High Down

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

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 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 Novus which is part of the LTE group. The curriculum includes a wide range of work-based subjects, such as barbering, health and safety, customer service, street works, rail track, bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, painting and decorating and CSCS card. Literacy and numeracy form part of every course and there are ESOL qualifications for learners with English as their second language.

Residents can also work and earn qualifications in the kitchens, industrial cleaning, recycling, 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 Mungo’s 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

Governor: Jo Sims

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 5 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. 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.

  2. Updated visit info

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

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

  5. Updated eductaion and st Mungo's trust

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

  7. Updated governor details

  8. Updated governor name

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  11. Added confirmation of secure video calling availability at this prison.

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

  13. First published.