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.

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.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2 minute survey.

Book and plan your visit to Isle of Wight

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.

There is no limit to the number of visits a resident can have within a given time period. If the resident has a visiting order available, the visit can be booked.

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

You can book your visit online.

If you have not received a confirmation email within 3 days, email: socialvisitsisleofwight@justice.gov.uk.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01983 634 218
Monday to Friday, 10am to midday and 1pm to 4:15pm (4pm on Fridays)
Find out about call charges

Visiting times for both sites are:

  • Monday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 4pm

Legal visiting times are by appointment only.

You can book your legal and professional visits online.

If you have not received a confirmation email within 3 days, email: socialvisitsisleofwight@justice.gov.uk.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01983 634 218
Monday to Friday, 10am to midday and 1pm to 4:15pm (4pm on Fridays)
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are:

  • Monday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 4pm

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.

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 vending machine in the visiting hall.

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, as well as a children’s play area and refreshments for sale. They also run a creche in both visiting halls.

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

Family days

Isle of Wight runs regular family days.

Activities are available for men to spend quality time in a relaxed atmosphere with their children and grandchildren or other loved ones.

Men with a proven standard of good behaviour can apply for family days.

Keep in touch with someone at Isle of Wight

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

Phone calls

Residents 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 the resident 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 resident, 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 resident’s 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 resident’s name and number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Residents 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 resident’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 residents’ safeguarding and welfare, and the Governor is ultimately responsible for staff and residents at all times.

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

Arrival and first night

When a resident 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 resident 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.

Residents 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 resident you’re worried about. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2 minute survey.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 6 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated video call info

  2. First published.