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

To visit someone in Portland you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 3 working 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.

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

Contact Portland 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 Portland
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Visiting times from Friday 1 March 2024:

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Visiting times:

  • Thursday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

Visiting times from Friday 1 March 2024

  • Tuesday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

To book a legal visit

Getting to Portland

Find Portland on a map

The closest railway station is Weymouth. From there, you can take a bus to the Isle of Portland. There is also a taxi rank at the station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

Portland has a visitors car park, including several spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Portland

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.

Portland has a strict dress code policy which means visitors should dress sensibly. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses.

Refreshments are available in the canteen. You can bring in £20, half of which needs to be in change.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Portland. 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. Abusive or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated and anyone who appears under the influence of drink or drugs will be turned away. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre at Portland which has toilets and a baby changing area. It opens at 12:30pm on visiting days.

The play area and vending machines will not be available to use during your visit.

Family days

Family days now run monthly, normally on a Monday. (This will be planned and arranged through the prisoner/s themselves).

Keep in touch with someone at Portland

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

Secure video calls

To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:

  • Download the Prison Video app
  • Create an account
  • Register all visitors
  • Add the prisoner to your contact list.

How to book a secure video call

You can request a secure video call with someone in this prison via the Prison Video app.

You will receive a notification when your request has been accepted.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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 prisoner, 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 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

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

Friends and families 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.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Portland

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

Security and safeguarding

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

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

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

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner 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 prisoner arriving 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 prisoners live at Portland across 7 units. There is a mixture of single and double cells. Each cell has a kettle, TV and a lockable cabinet. Cells in the Beaufort unit have their own showers.

Education and work

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

Prisoners 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 prisoners 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 prisoners 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.

To contact the Head of family provision at HMP Portland email:

The Head of family provision in HMP Portland is Gov R Nantes.

Support at Portland

Family services at Portland are provided by PACT.

More information is available from the visitors centre.

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01305 715 600 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 01305 715 666 Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening or complete a safer custody contact form on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline website.
Staff Integrity Hotline 0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
Prisoners’ Families Helpline 0808 808 2003 The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
Unwanted Prisoner Contact 0300 060 6699 If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.

You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email or contact by phone.

Problems and complaints

If you have any other problem contact Portland.

Contact Portland

Governor: Pete Lewis

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

Follow Portland on Twitter/X


HMP/YOI Portland
104 The Grove

See map

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

Published 21 October 2019
Last updated 30 December 2022 + show all updates
  1. Safety concerns information updated.

  2. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  3. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  4. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  5. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  6. New visiting times and booking information added.

  7. 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.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions

  9. Updated visit info

  10. Updated visit info

  11. Updated governor name.

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

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Updated survey link

  15. Updated visiting information

  16. updated tel no

  17. First published.