Manchester Prison

Manchester Prison is a men’s high security prison in Manchester city centre. It was known as Strangeways until 1994.

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Book and plan your visit to Manchester

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Manchester prison 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.

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 Manchester Prison

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

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 which they can use between 8am and 10pm.

The phones do not accept incoming calls so residents 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.


You can send emails to someone in Manchester Prison 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 Manchester Prison.


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 Manchester Prison.

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

Gifts and parcels

You can hand in many items for residents at the property desk in the visitors centre. The desk is open from 9am to 10:30am, Monday to Friday. You will need photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.

Write the resident’s name and prisoner number on the package. It will be opened and checked by officers.

There are rules on what you can hand in. Ask at the visitors centre for details.

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

Life at Manchester Prison

Manchester Prison is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men convicted of serious offences can make positive use of long sentences.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Manchester Prison 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 Manchester Safeguarding Partnership.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Manchester Prison, 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 Manchester Prison 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, training and independent career advice
  • 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.


Around 750 men live at Manchester Prison in a mixture of single and shared rooms. They are split across 9 wings in 2 blocks.

There is a sports hall and several gyms offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities.

Manchester Prison has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to education and training provided by Milton Keynes College. Classes include:

  • skills for life
  • IT
  • English for speakers of other languages
  • numeracy
  • wellbeing
  • art therapy
  • business

Vocational training courses include industrial cleaning, baking, catering warehousing and waste management.

Work is available in the textiles, printing and laundry workshops, as well as throughout the prison. All areas offer the chance to earn qualifications at the same time.

Manchester Prison 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 Manchester Prison. 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 Manchester Prison in response to independent inspections.

Contact Manchester Prison

Governor: Rob Knight

Telephone: 0161 817 5600
Fax: 0161 817 5601
Find out about call charges

Follow Manchester Prison on Twitter


HMP Manchester
1 Southall Street
M60 9AH

See map

Sharing concerns helpline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Manchester Prison, call the sharing concerns helpline. 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: 0161 817 5958
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call 0161 817 5927.

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Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 21 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. visit update

  2. Updated prison info

  3. Updated visit info

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

  5. Updated information about secure video calls.

  6. First published.