Guidance

Maidstone Prison

Maidstone is a prison in Maidstone, Kent, for foreign national men.

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Book and plan your visit to Maidstone

Maidstone is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 1 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 Maidstone 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

Up to 3 visitors over the age of 12 are allowed at a time, plus children under 12. At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Maidstone.

Contact Maidstone 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 Maidstone
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

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

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 01622 775 621
The booking line is open Monday to Friday: 9am to 12:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visting times:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 2pm to 3:30pm

You should book in at the visitors centre on arrival, from 12:30pm. Anyone arriving after 2:15pm may not be admitted.

Email: legalvisits.maidstone@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

You can also book by sending a fax to 01622 775 660.

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Thursday, 9am to 11am.

Getting to Maidstone

Find Maidstone on a map

Maidstone Prison is a 5-minute walk from Maidstone East station. A number of local buses pass by the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is no visitor parking at the prison. There are several public car parks in walking distance.

Entering Maidstone

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

Maidstone has a family-friendly dress code which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing revealing clothing like low-cut tops or ripped jeans. Additionally, you cannot wear anything with offensive patterns or slogans, football shirts or uniforms. Ask in the visitors centre if you have questions about the dress code.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Maidstone. 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. Visitors are allowed to take in a limited amount of cash in coins (no notes) to buy snacks in the visiting hall.

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

The Dinsmore visitors centre is run by Spurgeons.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

The centre includes toilets and baby changing facilities.

Keep in touch with someone at Maidstone

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

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.

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 Maidstone using the Email a Prisoner service.

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

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 Maidstone.

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 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.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel. They will be opened and checked by officers.

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

Life at Maidstone

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

It accommodates foreign national men with between 3 and 30 months left to serve and provides liaison and forums with Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Maidstone 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 Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Maidstone, 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 Maidstone 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

Around 600 men live at Maidstone in a mixture of single and shared rooms. There are 4 main residential house blocks and one segregation unit.

Facilities include a weights and fitness suite and an artificial turf sports pitch.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad range of education courses and vocational workshops, including bricklaying and decorating.

Work opportunities include a printing workshop, waste management, horticulture, tailoring and contract workshops.

Maidstone also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Maidstone.

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

Contact Maidstone

Governor: Judith Feline

Telephone: 01622 775 300
Fax: 01622 775 301
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Maidstone
36 County Road
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1UZ

See map

Sharing concerns helpline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Maidstone, call the sharing concerns helpline.

Telephone: 0161 817 5958
Find out about call charges

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Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 1 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated physical contact guidance

  2. Updated social visits booking line opening times.

  3. New visiting times and booking information added.

  4. 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.

  5. visit update

  6. Updated visit info

  7. Updated visits info

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

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Returned to previous version - update not required until 17/08/20

  11. Updated covid visit times

  12. First published.