Portland Prison and Young Offender Institution

Portland is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, for men aged 18 and over.

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Book and plan your visit to Portland

Portland 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 Portland

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

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. They have to buy phone credits to do this. They can make calls in the evening on weekdays and during the day on weekends.

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 Portland 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 Portland.


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

If you do not know their prison number, contact Portland.

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 and cheques. These should be made payable to ‘The Governor’ and include the resident’s name and prison number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Residents can buy products from a list of approved items through their prison accounts.

Life at Portland

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

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board.

The Samaritans also train residents be ‘listeners’ to help support other residents going through difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Portland, 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 Portland 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.


Around 500 men live at Portland across 7 units. There is a mixture of single and double rooms. Each room has a kettle, TV and a lockable cabinet. Rooms in the Beaufort unit have their own showers.

Education and work

Every resident studies essential skills such as maths and English, giving them a foundation to move on to study for professional qualifications.

Residents can train and earn qualifications in professions such as bricklaying, painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery, horticulture, and gym instruction.

Release on temporary licence

Portland residents have the opportunity to leave the prison for short periods of time. This is known as release on temporary licence. It can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release.

Organisations Portland works with

Portland 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 Portland

Barnado’s Family Pathway Programme offers help and support to families of Portland residents and works to strengthen family relationships.

More information is available from the visitors centre.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Portland

Governor: Rob Luxford

Telephone (24 hours): 01305 715 600
Fax: 01305 715 601
Find out about call charges

Follow Portland on Twitter


HMP/YOI Portland
104 The Grove

See map

Safety concerns

Call the 24 hour answerphone if you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Portland. Leave as much information as possible and a telephone number for staff to call you back.

Telephone: 01305 715 666
Find out about call charges

You can also email Portland’s Independent Monitoring Board if you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Portland.


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

Published 21 October 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 coronavirus restrictions

  3. Updated visit info

  4. Updated visit info

  5. Updated governor name.

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

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. Updated survey link

  9. Updated visiting information

  10. updated tel no

  11. First published.