Kirkham Prison

Kirkham is a men’s open prison in the village of Kirkham, Lancashire.

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Book and plan your visit to Kirkham

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Kirkham you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 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.

Prisoners are allowed one visit a week.

Contact Kirkham 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 Kirkham
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

HMP Kirkham is currently operating a limited visits schedule for family and friends. There is no online booking service available.

Visits can only be booked by prisoner application. Families, friends and significant others are then contacted to confirm.

Enquiries only:

Visiting times:

  • Thursday to Sunday: 2.30pm to 3.15pm, 13.15 to 2pm (shielding prisoners only)

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Kirkham

Find Kirkham on a map

The closest railway station is Kirkham & Wesham, which is about 2 miles from Kirkham Prison. Local buses running between Preston and Blackpool stop in Kirkham.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park, including spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Kirkham

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 be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, short skirts or clothes with offensive statements on them.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Kirkham. 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

There will be no refreshments or children’s play area available during your visit.

A family worker is on hand to offer support and advice to families and friends before and during visits.

Family days

Family days are not currently available.

Keep in touch with someone at Kirkham

There are several ways you can keep in touch with someone during their time at Kirkham.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video app, create an account, register all visitors and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you. They have access to telephones on their unit 24 hours a day. They have to buy phone credits to use them.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. These names are screened and approved in advance by security.

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 Kirkham using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from someone, depending on the rules at Kirkham.


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 Kirkham.

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 Kirkham are able to buy approved items from a catalogue on their unit.

Family and friends can:

  • hand in underwear for the person they are visiting before the start of a visit
  • send other types of clothing by post to the prison if the prisoner has asked for permission to receive a parcel first

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.

Contact Kirkham if you have any questions.

Life at Kirkham

Kirkham 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 Kirkham 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.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Kirkham community safety and equalities team in partnership with the Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When somenne first arrives at Kirkham, 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 Kirkham gets an induction that lasts a couple of days. 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
  • planning for their release

They will receive a gym induction and get a tour of the facility by a fellow prisoner.

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


Around 650 men live at Kirkham in 24 units. Each unit has at least 1 telephone and a kitchen with a fridge, microwave, toaster and hot water boiler.

There are specific units for prisoners who are accessing substance misuse services, in the Custody to Work programme, or over 40 years old. There is also accommodation for prisoners with accessibility needs including wheelchair access.

Prisoners have access to a gym that includes weights, fitness equipment and snooker, pool and table tennis tables. Outdoor spaces include a bowling green and gym trail.

Kirkham has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support.

People cannot smoke in any building at Kirkham.

Education and work

People in Kirkham have access to a diverse range of learning, training and employment opportunities.

Qualifications are available in classroom-based subjects as well as vocational subjects like bricklaying, painting and decorating, industrial cleaning and fork-lift truck driving.

Prisoners can work in horticulture, gardening, waste management, catering, timber, industrial cleaning and community work. There are also opportunities to work with private businesses that have set up partnerships with Kirkham.

Kirkham PE department runs Kirkham Integrated Stroke Support (KISS), a charity that trains prisoners to provide rehabilitation to local people following a stroke. Local NHS stroke units, GPs and medical professionals regularly refer patients to the service.

Temporary release

Prisoners may be considered for temporary release with the proper checks and planning.

Prisoners can also qualify for Kirkham’s Custody to Work programme. This allows them to work in the community with a number of local and national employers later on in their sentence. These opportunities can lead to jobs after release.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Kirkham.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Kirkham in response to independent inspections.

Contact Kirkham

Governor: Alli Black

Telephone (24 hours): 01772 675 400
Fax: 01772 675 401
Find out about call charges

Follow Kirkham on Twitter


HMP Kirkham
Freckleton Road

See map

Confidential support line

If you are concerned for the welfare of a prisoner at HMP Kirkham with regards to Self-Harm or Violence, please contact the safety team via the email address. Emails will be monitored Monday to Friday.


Alternatively you can call the confidential support number and leave a message. You can leave your contact details if you want us to return your call. This number is checked once a day

Telephone: 0800 5280 248
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call 01772 675 521.

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Published 15 January 2020
Last updated 21 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated Governor

  2. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  3. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  4. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  5. Updated physical contact guidance

  6. New visiting times and booking information added.

  7. Additional guidance about new COVID-19 variant in the Bolton and Blackburn areas.

  8. 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.

  9. Updated visit info

  10. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

  13. Update to visits in line with new Covid guidelines

  14. updated Covid visit times

  15. updated survey link

  16. Visit information update

  17. Update to contact details

  18. First published.