Guidance

Leyhill Prison

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

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.

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Book and plan your visit to Leyhill

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

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone or email.

Email: socialvisits.leyhill@justice.gov.uk
Booking line: 01454 264 000

Monday to Friday, 9am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Thursday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Saturday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • 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

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 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

If you do not have these, staff may accept 2 or more of the following:

  • birth or marriage certificate
  • cheque book or signed credit or debit card
  • employer’s pass
  • young person’s ‘proof of age’ card
  • trade union or student union membership card
  • rent book
  • foreign identity or residents’ card (other than European Community ID)
  • prison visitors organisation ID (for example, the New Bridge Foundation)
  • CitizenCard (UK national ID card)

Staff may accept expired forms of ID from this list in good condition or other forms of ID if they can clearly identify you.

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.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visiting hall.

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 team provide information and support to visitors and there is a snack bar serving hot and cold drinks and food.

The centre opens at midday on visiting days.

Family days

Family days allow residents to spend extra time with their children in a more relaxed setting. Leyhill holds 3 family days a year, usually in the middle of the week during school holidays.

Contact Leyhill for details.

Keep in touch with someone at Leyhill

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

Phone calls

Residents 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.

Residents 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 from the resident, 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 also send:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to ‘NOMS Agency’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Family and friends can hand in books for residents before a visit.

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

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 a resident 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 residents with access needs.

Education and work

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

Residents 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 residents as they approach release.

Release on temporary licence

Some Leyhill residents 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. Residents can apply for this within the prison.

Organisations Leyhill works with

Leyhill works with Catch 22, a not-for-profit business, to help residents 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 Leyhill residents 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 25 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Update on visits

  2. First published.