Guidance

Isle of Wight Prison

Isle of Wight is a high security men’s prison, set across 2 sites (Albany and Parkhurst), just outside Newport, Isle of Wight.

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Book and plan your visit to Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 3 of the National Framework for Prisons.

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 also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

To visit someone at the Isle of Wight prison you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit 24 hours in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

Visits are currently limited to 1 visit per month per prisoner for a duration of 1 hour.

Contact Isle of Wight 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 Isle of Wight
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Isle of Wight is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by contacting Isle of Wight or you can also register to use the secure video calls service. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line opening times:

  • Monday to Thursday 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 4:15pm
  • Friday 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm

Visiting times:

  • Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 2:30pm to 3:30pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Isle of Wight

Find Isle of Wight on a map

If coming by public transport, you will need to take a ferry from one of the ports at Lymington, Portsmouth or Southampton. To plan your journey to the port:

From there, take a ferry to the Isle of Wight. Don’t book your ferry until you have email confirmation of your visit.

To plan your ferry crossing use:

Once on the island get a bus or take a taxi from the ferry port taxi rank to the prison.

There is parking on both Albany and Parkhurst sites with Blue Badge spaces available.

Entering Isle of Wight

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport, including foreign passports, and out of date passports where the photograph is still recognisable
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • European Community identity card
  • employer or student ID card (only if it shows the name of the visitor and the established employer or educational institute, and has the visitor’s photograph or signature)

All visitors will need to be searched before entering the prison.

You will also be searched using the passive drug dog (when available) which can lead to a full search and/or a closed visit.

If you refuse to be searched, you will be denied access to the prison.

Isle of Wight has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear smart clothes. That means no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons. Religious headwear will be searched in a discreet area.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Isle of Wight. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (£1 refunded) or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

The only things you can take into the visiting hall are money (in coins), prescribed medication (handed to the desk officer), certain baby feeding items and disability aids.

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

Barnardo’s runs a visitors centre for both sites at the Albany site car park.

The centre provides information, support and guidance. There will be no refreshments available during your visit. The children’s play area is currently not available to use.

It offers useful information packs for first-time visitors and emotional and practical support after a visit.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Isle of Wight

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Isle of Wight.

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

Prisoners have phones in their rooms but the phones do not accept incoming calls. They will always have to call you and need to buy phone credit to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family between the hours of 7am and 10pm. 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 to keep the public and prisoners safe.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Isle of Wight using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the prisoner, depending on the rules at Isle of Wight.

Letters

You can write at any time but you must include your name and address within the letter. Anonymous letters are not allowed.

Write the prisoners’ full name and prisoner number (if known) on the envelope.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked by prison staff.

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’ and include the prisoner’s name and number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Prisoners are given a small list of items that can be sent in to them. They need written approval beforehand.

Once this approval has been given, make sure to include the prisoner’s name and number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened, checked and X-rayed by officers.

Life at Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight is committed to providing a safe, secure and decent rehabilitative environment where men can learn new skills to help them in custody and on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Isle of Wight has a right to feel safe.

The staff are responsible for prisoners safeguarding and welfare, and the Governor is ultimately responsible for staff and prisoners at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Isle of Wight Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Isle of Wight, and their pin phone account is activated, they will be able to call a family member. This call could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

If they can’t make the call, staff will make contact on their behalf.

The prisoner will also 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 Isle of Wight 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 and risk reduction

Everyone also finds out about the rules, regime, equalities, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.

Accommodation

There are over 1000 men at the Isle of Wight prison, housed in a mixture of single and double rooms.

It consists of 2 former prisons (HMP Parkhurst and HMP Albany). On the Albany site, there are 7 wings and on Parkhurst there are 8.

Both sites have healthcare units, a gym and pastoral care.

Education and work

The prison provides a number of courses for men convicted of sex offences.

Milton Keynes College offers a wide range of education, including degree courses and vocational training.

Prisoners can work in wood mills, textile shops, print shops, gardens and waste workshops.

Organisations Isle of Wight works with

There is support, education and help at the prison from:

  • Barnardos
  • Good Vibrations
  • Changing Tunes
  • Milton Keynes College
  • Isle of Wight council
  • Story Book Dads
  • Shannon Trust
  • Open University
  • Prison Education Trust
  • Care UK healthcare
  • DARTS

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Barnardo’s offers further support, if needed.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Isle of Wight. 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 Isle of Wight in response to independent inspections.

Contact Isle of Wight

Governor: Doug Graham

Telephone: 01983 634 000
24 hours
Fax: 01983 556 362
Find out about call charges

Email: secretariat.hmpisleofwight@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

Follow Isle of Wight on Twitter

Address

HMP Isle of Wight
Albany House
Newport
Isle of Wight
PO30 5RS

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Isle of Wight, call the safer custody hotline which is checked regularly each day.

Telephone: 0800 496 1125
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number, the reason for your call and the name and prisoner number of the prisoner you’re worried about. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

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Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 22 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. New visiting times and booking information added.

  2. 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.

  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 local restriction tiers.

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

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Updated video call info

  11. First published.