Hollesley Bay is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) for men over 18 in Woodbridge, Suffolk.
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Book and plan your visit to Hollesley Bay
To visit someone in Hollesley Bay you must:
- be on that person’s visitor list
- book your visit 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 prisoner can have. You can check this with the prison.
Contact Hollesley Bay 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 Hollesley Bay
- somewhere to stay overnight
How to book family and friends visits
You can book your visit online.
You can book your visit by telephone.
Booking line: 01394 412 559
Tuesday to Thursday: 9am to 2pm and 1pm to4pm
Find out about call charges
- Saturday: 2pm to 3:45pm
- Sunday: 2pm to 3:45pm
How to book legal and professional visits
There are currently no legal visits taking place.
Getting to Hollesley Bay
The closest railway station is Ipswich, from there you can get a taxi.
To plan your journey by public transport:
There is a free visitors car park.
There is also a disabled visitors car parking spaces available.
Entering Hollesley Bay
All visitors, aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.
All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.
Hollesley Bay has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear smart clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons).
Visitors must adhere to the prison dress code that applies, further details can be requested on your first visit
Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £10 in coins (notes are not allowed).
There are strict controls on what you can take into Hollesley Bay. 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.
Call the booking line if you have any questions about visiting.
There will be no refreshments and children’s play area available during your visit.
Hollesley Bay runs various family visits throughout the year. All prisoners can access family visits but are especially appropriate for those prisoners not accessing release on temporary licence. The visits are organised via our Family Services Provider, Ormiston Trust and supported by multiple agencies and HMPPS staff to ensure a variety of age-appropriate activities and crafts are available. Details on how these visits run can be found by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for 2023:
- Thursday 1 June
- Thursday 17 August
- Thursday 26 October
- Thursday 21 December
Keep in touch with someone at Hollesley Bay
There are several ways you can keep in touch with someone during their time at Hollesley Bay.
Secure video calls
To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:
- Download the Prison Video app
- Create an account
- Register all visitors
- Add the prisoner to your contact list.
How to book a secure video call
Secure video calls at this prison can be requested by prisoners only.
You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.
Prisoners 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 Hollesley Bay using the Email a Prisoner service.
You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies, depending on the prison’s rules.
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 Hollesley Bay.
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 no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.
If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:
- are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
- do not have a debit card
This will allow you to send money by post.
Gifts and parcels
People in Hollesley Bay are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Hollesley Bay for more information on what’s allowed.
Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.
All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.
Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.
For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.
Life at Hollesley Bay
Hollesley Bay 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 Hollesley Bay has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.
For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.
Arrival and first night
When someone first arrives at Hollesley Bay, 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 Hollesley Bay gets an induction that lasts about a week. 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.
Almost 500 men are housed in 9 residential units over an 85 acre site.
The units are called Bosmere, Blything, Cosforde, Hoxon, Mutfords, Samforde, Stow, Theadling and Wilforde, which are all Suffolk place names from the Middle Ages.
Education and work
There is part-time education in English, maths, IT and employability provided by Peopleplus.
They also offer full-time vocational courses in bricklaying, plastering, plumbing, carpentry and painting and decorating. Also available are qualifications in forklift truck, roofing, barista, hospitality, a ‘firebreak’ course with Essex Fire Service and the construction skills certificate scheme (to earn a CSCS card).
Prisoners can also learn to drive with a local driving school.
There are work opportunities in kitchens, gardens, clothing exchange, recycling, staff areas, transport and cleaning. NVQs are available through kitchen and staff area work.
Men can also work with the local community on placements or in paid ‘working out’ schemes. Paid workers have the option to self-drive or get to work on public transport. All job requests will be assessed and considered on an individual basis.
Hollesley Bay aims to support prisoners into employment that will continue once discharged.
There is a sports centre, which offers a wide range of activities. Men can get qualified in healthy living, fitness, circuits and first aid.
The Chaplaincy offers multi-faith services and pastoral care.
The resettlement team helps reduce re-offending and tries to get men into full-time work, training or education. The prison works closely with partners providing career support, accommodation and benefits advice. Men have access to a job club and virtual campus that allows them to look for jobs anywhere in the UK.
Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), when men spend time in the community before release, is part of this. This can be daily (to a placement in the local community) or weekly (spending time with family) and then monthly when men can go home for up to 4 nights.
Once approved for ROTL, prisoners can apply for paid work through vacancies with employers that work with the prison or they can find their own work. Paid workers contribute a percentage of their wages to the victims fund.
Organisations Hollesley Bay works with
Hollesley Bay offers up to 5 restorative justice courses a year.
Sycamore Tree courses are run by the Prison Fellowship and teach a volunteer-led victim awareness programme and results in a victim of crime coming in to talk about the impact the crime has had on their lives.
There is regular drug testing and prison staff, Care UK and the Forward Trust provide help, guidance and counselling to support a person with addiction.
Medical and dental care is provided by Care UK.
Support for family and friends
Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.
To contact our Head of Reducing Reoffending and Family and Significant others lead at HMP Hollesley Bay please email Resettlement.HollesleyBay@justice.gov.uk.
Support at Hollesley Bay
Ormiston Trust is the family service provider. They offer one to one advice and support and limited family engagement days.
Family and friends can contact them directly.
Telephone: 01473 724517
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem, write to the Governor of the prison at the main address.
HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Hollesley Bay in response to independent inspections.
Contact Hollesley Bay
Governor: David Daddow
Telephone (24 hours): 01394 412 400
Fax: 01394 410 115
Find out about call charges
HMP/YOI Hollesley Bay
In an emergency
Call 01394 412 400 if you have an immediate or emergency concern about the welfare of a prisoner and ask for the orderly officer or duty governor.
Safer custody hotline
If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner at HMP Hollesley Bay that are not an immediate concern, call the safer custody hotline.
Telephone: 01394 412 462
24 hour answering machine
Leave a message giving as many details as possible including the prisoners name, prisoner number and what house they are located on if you know it. If you wish, you can leave your own details and a contact number so the prison can give you feedback, if appropriate.
You can also read more information about safer custody concerns on the Prisoners Families website.
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