Guidance

Hollesley Bay Prison

Hollesley Bay is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) for men over 18 in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

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 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 person 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
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

Visiting times:

  • Saturday: 2pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 3:45pm

You can book by telephone.

Booking line: 01394 412 400
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm.

Getting to Hollesley Bay

Find Hollesley Bay on a map

The closest mainline railway station is Ipswich where you can then catch connecting trains to either Melton station (15 minutes to the prison in a taxi) or Woodbridge station (20 minutes to the prison in a taxi).

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is plenty of visitor parking.

Entering Hollesley Bay

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.

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).

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £10 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the vending machine in the visiting hall.

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.

Visiting facilities

The visitor area has toilets, baby changing facilities, a children’s room and a canteen service.

Family days

Ormiston Trust offers regular family days where men can apply to spend more time with their children and families in a more relaxed environment.

Keep in touch with someone at Hollesley Bay

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

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.

Email

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 from the resident, depending on the prison’s rules.

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 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 also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

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.

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.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership.

Arrival and first night

When a resident 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

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).

Residents 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 residents 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.

Temporary release

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, residents 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.

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

Email: enquries@ormistonfamilies.org.uk

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem, write to the Governor of the prison at the main address.

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 Hollesley Bay in response to independent inspections.

Contact Hollesley Bay

Governor: Gary Newnes

Telephone (24 hours): 01394 412 400
Fax: 01394 410 115
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP/YOI Hollesley Bay
Woodbridge
Suffolk
IP12 3JW

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Hollesley Bay, you can call the prisoners’ families helpline.

Telephone: 0808 808 2003
Monday to Fridays, 9am to 8pm and weekends from 10am to 3pm

In an emergency, call the main switchboard.

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

  2. First published.