Guidance

Prescoed Prison

Prescoed is a men’s open prison and young offender institution (YOI) in the village of Coed-y-Paen, South Wales. It is managed jointly with Usk Prison.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. 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.

Book and plan your visit to Prescoed

To visit someone in Prescoed you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • have an appointment to visit
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

Contact Prescoed 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 Prescoed
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

It is not possible to book your own visit to Prescoed. Residents must arrange visits themselves and inform you of the details.

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

To visit someone who has just arrived at Prescoed, contact the prison. The first visit, called a reception visit, can usually be arranged with a day’s notice.

Legal visits must be booked by telephone.

Booking line: 01291 675 131
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Visiting times are Monday to Friday, 9am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4pm.

Getting to Prescoed

Find Prescoed on a map

Prescoed is about 5 miles from Pontypool, New Inn and Cwmbran stations. There are no local bus services so you will need to take a taxi from the station to Prescoed.

To plan your journey by public transport, use National Rail Enquiries.

There is a visitors car park, including spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Prescoed

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans. Ask at the visitors centre if you have questions about appropriate dress.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 which can be used to buy food and drink from the coffee shop in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Prescoed. 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. 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 run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT). Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre opens at 1:15pm on visiting days.

Telephone: 01291 675 056
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Family days

Prescoed holds 7 family days a year during the school holidays. These days give residents more time to spend with their children in a relaxed setting.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Residents can also apply for community visits, which take place from 9am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Keep in touch with someone at Prescoed

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

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 phone anyone named on their list of friends and family from 6am to 11:55pm, daily. 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 Prescoed 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 Prescoed.

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 Prescoed.

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 ‘NOMS Agency’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Prescoed does not normally accept items sent to residents by post. Residents can apply for permission under special circumstances.

You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Contact Prescoed for more information.

Life at Prescoed

Prescoed 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 Prescoed 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 Gwent-wide Adult Safeguarding Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Prescoed, 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 Prescoed gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will be given talks by some of the governors and 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 230 men live at Prescoed, across 11 accommodation blocks. There are a mixture of single and shared rooms. There are dining facilities, a library and a barber shop.

Residents have access to a gym and sports hall and can take part in a varied programme of activities.

Prescoed also has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, ranging from basic skills, such as English, Welsh and maths, to higher learning and qualifications. The programme also includes training in a variety of trades and professions, including:

  • health and safety
  • food safety
  • computing skills
  • drug awareness
  • bricklaying
  • barbering

Most work at Prescoed is provided by the local Cilwrgi Farm, where residents perform a variety of roles and gain professional experience and qualifications.

Residents can also take courses in recycling and waste management at the waste management unit.

Temporary release

Residents may be considered for temporary release with the proper checks and planning. Day release and overnight release can be granted to help residents maintain family and community ties and prepare for leaving prison.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Prescoed

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.

Telephone: 01291 675 056
Find out about call charges

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem, contact Prescoed. 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 Prescoed in response to independent inspections.

Contact Prescoed

Governor: Giles Mason

Telephone (24 hours): 01291 675 000
Fax: 01291 675 158
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Address

HMP Prescoed
Coed-y-Paen
Pontypool
Monmouthshire
NP4 0TB

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Prescoed, call the gatehouse and ask to speak to the orderly officer or duty governor.

Telephone (24 hours): 01291 671 731
Find out about call charges

Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 25 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Visit information update

  2. First published.