Onley Prison

Onley Prison is a men’s prison in Rugby, Warwickshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Onley

Onley prison is at stage 3 in the National Framework for Prisons. We are now preparing to open for visits and we will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

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 Onley

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

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 do not have phones in their rooms so they will always have to call you. To do this, they have to buy phone credits and use Pin phones on the wings when they are out of their rooms.

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 to help keep people safe.


You can send emails to someone in Onley using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident.


You can write at any time. Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope. If you do not know their prison number, contact Onley. 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 ‘HMPPS Governor’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.

If you send in cash over £99, it must be accompanied by a letter.

Gifts and parcels

People in Onley are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Onley Prison for more information on what’s allowed.

You can send in clothing parcels if the resident has reached and been on ‘enhanced’ status for six months.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Onley Prison

Onley Prison is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release. There are also opportunities for residents to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Warwickshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Men can also get support from ‘peer supporters’ and ‘listeners’. These are other residents who help those at risk of self-harm.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Onley 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. They will have the opportunity to speak to a support worker.


Each man who arrives at Onley Prison gets an induction that lasts about five days. They get an induction booklet and 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.


Around 700 men live at Onley. There are 11 wings, each with a mixture of single and double rooms. On different wings are a care and separation unit, a resettlement unit, a first-night unit and two substance misuse recovering units.

Education and work

Residents are offered either full-time or part-time education which meets the needs of both the National Curriculum and the national speculations for numeracy, literacy and information technology (IT).

The Shannon Trust trains residents who can read to help others improve their reading.

There’s a library with books, magazines, newspapers, multimedia computers and reprographics facilities that is open every day, except Monday.

It opens 4 evenings a week and learning support is offered then.

Training is in catering, fork-lift truck driving, gardening, contract work, kitchen work, industrial cleaning and recycling.

Onley has a Halfords Academy (bicycles), a Halfords Auto Centre (cars) and contact centre which all have the potential to offer employment on release.

Functional skills, key skills and language support is offered to all residents. Particular support is offered to residents who finish their NVQ portfolios and other qualifications. Distance Learning/Open University is available to all prisoners if they wish to extend their learning further.

Onley has a multi-faith chaplaincy team that provides corporate worship, faith-based teaching and pastoral care. Each new prisoner is seen by chaplaincy on arrival and extra support can be given at difficult times. The prison fellowship work in partnership with chaplaincy delivering eight Sycamore Tree courses each year. The courses address victim awareness and principles of restorative justice.

There are several offending behaviour programmes and interventions offered at Onley.

Temporary release

Men at this prison can not get release on temporary licence (RoTL).

Organisations Onley works with

Onley healthcare services (including dental and optical) are open 7 days a week provided by the Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. They include a primary care team, a mental health team and an integrated drug treatment service.

Onley also provides a range of drug and alcohol support services in partnership with the Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Phoenix Futures. Phoenix Futures also gives men access to Alcoholics Anonymous and to a peers’ supporter scheme.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Onley

A family support worker helps to find useful services for family and friends. For more information, you can contact Phoenix Futures.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Onley Prison

Governor: Matthew Tilt

Telephone (24 hours): 01788 523 400
Fax: 01788 523 401
Find out about call charges


Follow Onley on Twitter


HMP Onley
CV23 8AP

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you are concerned for the welfare of a resident at Onley with regard to self-harm or violence, call the At Risk phone line.

Telephone: 01788 523 663
Lines open: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you have any non-urgent safer custody queries about a resident at Onley, you can call safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01788 523500
Lines open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – you can leave a message and it will be dealt with promptly.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 18 December 2019
Last updated 30 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

  3. Updated prison info

  4. Updated prison info

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

  6. Updated ID requirements for families and friends visiting the prison.

  7. Added confirmation of secure video calls being made available at this prison.

  8. Updated: HMP Onley visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  9. updated survey link

  10. Updated safer custody contact information.

  11. Prison visits update.

  12. First published.