Guidance

Lewes Prison

Lewes is a men’s prison in Lewes, East Sussex.

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Book and plan your visit to Lewes

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Lewes following national lockdown. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons, which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel. We will update here as soon as this changes.

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 Lewes

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

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 but they will always have to call you. They buy phone credits to do this and can call anytime between 6am and midnight.

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 Lewes using the Email a Prisoner service.

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 Lewes.

All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers.

Each week, residents can send 2 second class letters and one first class legal letter.

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 and your name and address on the back. If you send cash, you must include these details in a letter.

Gifts and parcels

You can not bring anything with you for the resident on a visit unless they have already applied for that item to be brought in. This application must be completed within the first 28 days of arrival in prison, and at least 3 days ahead of your visit. You can hand in items at the prison anytime between Monday and Friday, during normal visit times. Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel. All parcels will be opened and checked by officers. The ‘facilities list’ tells you what the resident is allowed and is available in the visitors centre.

After the first 28 days, additional items must be ordered by the resident from a catalogue.

Life at Lewes

Lewes is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where residents can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Lewes has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Lewes, 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, and they are only allowed 2 minutes.

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 Lewes 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

Lewes holds 692 residents in a mixture of single and double rooms.

Facilities include a gym, library, a healthcare unit, an onsite pharmacy and a multi-faith centre.

Education and work

Lewes provides a range of work, education and training facilities including IT, kitchen work, painting and decorating, barista work, food safety and preparation, waste management, horticulture, first aid and sports leadership.

A physical education programme is offered, as well as weekly library sessions and there are courses to reduce the risk of re-offending.

Temporary release

Applications for release on temporary licence (ROTL) can be submitted and are individually assessed.

Organisations Lewes works with

Lewes works with the Samaritans to train a team of ‘Listeners’ who are then available day and night for those who need additional support.

It also works with The Forward Trust, which offers help around substance misuse and delivers a number of ‘family ties workshops’. This is in partnership with Care UK and can offer detoxification, if necessary.

Lewes also works with Storybook Dads which helps dads create a bedtime story CD or DVD for their children.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Lewes

Spurgeons delivers family services at Lewes, offering support and advice. It works alongside Sussex Prisoners’ Families, a community organisation which provides peer support and help in court.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Lewes

Governor: Hannah Lane

Telephone: 01273 785 100
Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm and weekends, 7am to 5pm
There is a 24 hour redirect service outside these hours
Fax: 01273 785 101
Find out about call charges

Email: LewesFamilies@Spurgeons.Org

Address

HMP/YOI Lewes
1 Brighton Road
Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 1EA

See map

Safer custody hotline

Residents or their families can use the safer custody hotline to report bullying or concerns about self harm or suicide.

It is staffed during office hours. At other times, there is an answerphone which is checked and followed up every day. Leave your name, the resident’s name, a return contact number and brief details about your concern and a member of staff will call you back.

Safer custody hotline: 01273 785 392
Find out about call charges

You can also email: safercustodylewes@justice.gov.uk

If it’s urgent, call the main switchboard number (staffed 24 hours a day) and ask for the orderly officer.

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Published 11 March 2020
Last updated 26 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

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

  4. Updated the email contact address for families.

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

  6. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  7. Updated: HMP Lewes visiting times and visiting procedure changes in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. updated survey link

  9. Updated survey link

  10. First published.