Guidance

Highpoint Prison

Highpoint is a men’s prison in Newmarket, Suffolk.

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Book and plan your visit to Highpoint

To visit someone in Highpoint you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit 3 to 5 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 may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. Depending on individual privileges, residents can have 2 to 4 visits a month. There are extra visits too, such as family days and ‘lifer’ visits.

Highpoint tries to offer 2 hour visits instead of the national entitlement that states visits are one hour long.

Contact Highpoint 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 Highpoint
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01440 743 134
Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm
Find out about call charges

Highpoint North visiting times:

  • Friday: 2:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Highpoint South visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 2:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm

Email: legalvisits.highpoint@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01440 743 134
Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am (South only), 1:30pm to 3:30pm (North only)
  • Thursday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm (North and South)

Getting to Highpoint

Find Highpoint on a map

There are car parks at both North and South sites with limited spaces for Blue Badge holders.

The closest railway stations to Highpoint Prison are Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Audley End. From all these, you would need a taxi to the prison. But from Bury St Edmunds, you can walk to the bus station then take the number 15 bus to the prison. This is the only bus that goes to the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

Entering Highpoint

All visitors aged 18 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

Under 18s need to bring a passport or birth certificate.

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

Highpoint has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear smart clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses or skirts, no ripped jeans and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons).

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 cafe in the North visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Highpoint. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (they take a £1 coin) or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats. You can take in a clear jar of baby food or milk and Highpoint will provide nappies.

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 are children’s play areas run by the Ormiston Trust in both North and South visitor halls which offer books, toys and various activities.

Family days

Monthly family and children’s visits are held at both sites. Residents can apply for these.

Keep in touch with someone at Highpoint

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

Phone calls

We have started to roll out in-cell telephony which some units have access to.

Until this is across all units, some residents will not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this and they can call whenever they are out of their rooms.

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 Highpoint using the Email a Prisoner service.

Letters

You can write to residents at Highpoint at any time.

You need to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Highpoint.

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

Gifts and parcels

Residents can only buy items from the approved catalogue and can not receive gifts.

Sometimes clothing parcels can be sent in with permission from the Governor.

Life at Highpoint

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Highpoint, 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

Each person who arrives at Highpoint gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet residents trained to answer any questions they may have.

They will also 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

The men are issued with a handbook. They will also learn about basic rules, fire safety and how phone calls and visits work.

Accommodation

Highpoint has about 1300 residents and is made up of two sites, North and South.

South has 10 residential units, plus segregation. North has 5 residential units. There is a mix of double and single room accommodation. All rooms have toilets and most have showers.

Units have a range of cooking facilities to encourage residents to cook for themselves.

Education and work

Residents are offered a range of workshops and offending behaviour courses.

There are education classes available, including numeracy and communication skills, art, business enterprise, construction, graphics, barbery, carpentry and painting and decorating. Men can gain qualifications in the physical education department and in first aid. They can work in the kitchens, gardens and do domestic work.

Temporary release

Access to Release on Temporary Licence (RoTL) is limited to residents who meet certain criteria. Residents make an application directly to the Offender Management Unit (OMU) to discuss.

Organisations Highpoint works with

Men can get support from the organisations Highpoint works with, such as the Ormiston Trust and Toe by Toe.

Highpoint also works with the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equalities (ISCRE), and the substance misuse service Phoenix Futures.

Healthcare is provided by Care UK, education is run by NOVUS and the Shannon Trust inspires men to help other men to learn to read.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Highpoint

Our Safer Prisons team and chaplaincy offer general support to family and friends of residents.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Highpoint

Governor: Nigel Smith

Telephone: 01440 743 100
Fax: 01440 743 092
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Highpoint
Stradishall
Newmarket
Suffolk
CB8 9YG

See map

Safer custody hotline

Contact the Safer Custody hotline with any immediate concerns about a resident. Checked twice a day, you can leave a message and it will be dealt with promptly.

Telephone: 01440 743004

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Published 30 January 2020