Isis Prison

Isis is a men’s prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Thamesmead, South East London. It is named Isis after the ancient name for the River Thames.

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Book and plan your visit to Isis

Isis 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 Isis

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

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 have phones in their rooms so they are able 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 Isis 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 Isis.


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 Isis.

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 ‘NOMS Agency’ or ‘HMPPS’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Isis are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Isis for more information on what’s allowed.

In the first 28 days, men can apply to get a clothing parcel handed in. They can apply for another after 6 months. Parcels can be handed in at visits.

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 Isis

Isis 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 Isis 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 Royal Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Isis, 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 Isis gets an induction that lasts about 2 weeks. 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, biometric application kiosks and visits work.


Around 600 men live at Isis in 2 house blocks called Thames and Meridian. There is a mixture of single and double rooms.

Facilities include a gym, education and vocational training centre, segregation unit and fitness academy.

Education and work

Residents have access to education and training provided by Novus.

They can get academic qualifications, as well as certificates in a broad range of work-related subjects, including:

  • construction
  • waste management
  • bicycle repair
  • barbering
  • industrial cleaning
  • catering
  • media and reprographics
  • broadcasting and media studies
  • English for students of other languages

Isis runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Residents also have the opportunity to apply for jobs in almost all aspects of prison life. Those who do a learning and development qualification can apply for jobs as mentors and peer group workers.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Isis

Family support in the visitor centres, family days, family group work and one to one case work around family issues is all provided by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT).

Specialist staff and voluntary workers make sure that friends and families get a warm welcome. They offer emotional support and practical information about prison life and procedures.

Extra individual support and information packs can be given to first time visitors.

Family group work is offered which focuses on how fathers can build and maintain healthy relationships with their families while in prison. They help men to set realistic goals for family life, to consider the practical and emotional impact on themselves and their families and how to deal with them.

Oxleas also provides family-focused sessions about issues such as drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, wellbeing, relationships, communication, resilience and family group conferencing. It can also refer family members on to relevant services they may find useful.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Isis

Governor: Emily Thomas

Telephone: 020 3356 4000
Monday to Friday: 7am to 8pm
Weekends: 7am to 5pm
Fax: 0203 356 4001
Find out about call charges


Western Way
SE28 0NZ

See map

Safer custody hotline

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

This is a voicemail service which is checked twice a day on most days.

Your call will be returned if you leave all the information asked for in the message: your name and telephone number, the resident’s name and prisoner number, and a brief outline of your concern.

Telephone: 0203 356 4389

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

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Published 21 April 2020
Last updated 9 April 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 visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  6. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. Added confirmation of secure video calls made available at Isis prison.

  9. added survey link

  10. First published.