Guidance

Leyhill Prison

Leyhill is an open prison for men near Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.

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Book and plan your visit to Leyhill

Leyhill prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 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.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

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. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Leyhill you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit up to 28 days in advance
  • have the the required ID with you when you go

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

The number of visits a person can have varies depending on their privilege level. You can check this with Leyhill.

Contact Leyhill 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 Leyhill
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

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

Visits are led by prisoner application.

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm

You must book legal visits by telephone.

Booking line: 01454 264 000
Monday to Friday, 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Wednesday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Friday: 1:30pm to 3:45pm

Legal visitors are required to wear a facemask throughout the visit.

Getting to Leyhill

Find Leyhill on a map

The closest mainline railway station is Bristol Parkway, which is about 30 minutes by taxi from the prison.

The closest local railways station is Yate, where you can catch a bus to Leyhill except on Sundays.

To plan your journey by public transport:

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

Entering Leyhill

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

Revealing clothing such as low-cut tops, mini skirts and short shorts are not allowed. Clothes with offensive slogans on them are also not allowed. You may be turned away if you are dressed this way.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Leyhill. 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 is a family-friendly visitors centre at Leyhill, run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity.

The centre opens at midday on visiting days.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Leyhill

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

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 do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have 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.

Prisoners can make calls between 6am and 11pm every day.

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 Leyhill using the Email a Prisoner service.

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

Letters

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Leyhill.

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

Family and friends of prisoners are permitted to hand in books for prisoners before a visit, 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.

It’s not possible to hand in any other items or send items by post. You can send prisoners money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Family and friends 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 Leyhill if you have any questions.

Life at Leyhill

Leyhill is committed to providing a safe and educational environment to help prepare men for release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Leyhill 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 Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When someone first arrives at Leyhill, 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.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Leyhill 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

About 500 men live at Leyhill across 3 three units. There is a mixture of single and shared rooms as well as rooms for prisoners with access needs.

Education and work

Prisoners can learn English, maths, IT and other subjects at Leyhill through a partnership with Weston College.

Prisoners can gain work experience and earn qualifications in the wood machine shop, printing shop, laundry, retail warehouse, kitchen, farm and garden, market garden and gym. They can train in areas including catering and hospitality, barbering, painting and decorating and dry stone walling.

Leyhill also offers programmes in personal development, social and life skills designed to help prisoners as they approach release.

Release on temporary licence

Some prisoners may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community, prepare for release or spend time with family. Prisoners can apply for this within the prison.

Organisations Leyhill works with

Leyhill works with Catch 22, a not-for-profit business, to help prisoners prepare for their release. They provide support with things like housing, employment, finance and relationships.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Leyhill

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) works with prisoners and their families to provide support and help strengthen family ties.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Leyhill. If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Leyhill

Governor: Neil Lavis

Telephone (24 hours): 01454 264 000
Fax: 01454 261 714
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Leyhill
Wotton-under-Edge
Gloucester
GL12 8BT

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Leyhill, call the safer custody hotline. This is an answerphone service that is checked frequently. Leave as much information as possible and a telephone number for staff to call you back.

Telephone: 01454 264 039
Find out about call charges

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Published 15 January 2020
Last updated 17 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  2. New visiting times and booking information added.

  3. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  4. Visit info

  5. Updated visits information in line with national tier restrictions

  6. Updated visit info

  7. updated visit info

  8. Added legal visits

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

  10. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  11. updated survey

  12. Update on visits

  13. First published.