Preston Prison

Preston Prison is a men’s prison in Preston, Lancashire.

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Book and plan your visit to Preston Prison

Preston is now offering limited visits for family and friends in line with coronavirus restrictions.

To ensure the safety of visitors, residents and staff, there are strict guidelines which must be followed during you visit.

To visit someone in Preston Prison you must book your visit in advance and have the required ID with you when you go.

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

The number of visits a resident can have varies. You can check this with Preston Prison.

Contact Preston Prison 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 Preston Prison
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Preston is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by contacting Preston or you can also register to use the secure video calls service. There is no online booking service available.

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Preston Prison

Find Preston Prison on a map

Preston Prison is about a mile from Preston station and half a mile from the bus station.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is no visitor parking at the prison. Visitors need to find their own parking.

Entering Preston Prison

You should arrive at the prison 30 minutes before your visit.

All visitors must bring the required ID.

Visitors aged 18 or over should have photo ID, such as:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • student union membership card
  • CitizenCard (UK national ID card)
  • European Community identity card

Children under 18 without photo ID should bring their birth certificate, or red book for babies who haven’t been registered yet.

Staff may accept expired ID if they can clearly identify you.

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

Preston Prison 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, ripped jeans, flip-flops or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons. Additionally, you cannot wear sports team clothing or anything with offensive patterns or slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Preston Prison. 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 will be no refreshments available during your visit. The children’s play area is currently not available to use.

Family days

Preston holds monthly family days giving residents more time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

There are no family days available currently.

Keep in touch with someone at Preston Prison

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

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. 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 Preston Prison using the Email a Prisoner service.

You are also 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 Preston 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:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

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

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can send books to residents. These must be ordered and delivered directly to Preston from recognised high street or online shops such as WHSmith and Amazon.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the order. They will be opened and checked by officers.

It’s not possible to send any other items or property by post and such parcels will be returned. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Preston Prison

Preston Prison is committed to reducing reoffending by providing men with a structured and educational environment and preparing them for release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Preston 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 Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Preston Prison also trains residents to be ‘listeners’ for those who need support during difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Preston 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 get to speak to someone again on their second night so they have another chance to ask questions.


Each person who arrives at Preston 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 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.


Over 700 men live at Preston Prison in a mixture of single and shared rooms.

There are 3 gym areas offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities. They also have access to a well-stocked library.

Education and work

All residents have access to classroom learning provided by The Manchester College. Subjects include maths, English, IT, graphic design, digital imaging, media/radio production, painting and decorating and art. Support is available for students with dyslexia.

Preston also works in partnership with Novus to provide training for National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

There are professional courses in industrial cleaning, health and safety, manual handling and first aid.

There are personal and social development courses on topics such as substance misuse and recovery, victim awareness and restorative justice (where offenders may meet the victims of their crime).

Residents can also work throughout the prison in the laundry, maintenance, textiles workshop, cleaning orderly services and other areas.

Temporary release

Some Preston Prison residents may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Residents can apply for this within the prison.

Organisations Preston Prison works with

Preston Prison runs a 2-week resettlement course to prepare prisoners for release. This is done in partnership with organisations including Shelter, Jobcentre Plus and the National Careers Service.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Preston Prison

A family liaison officer is available to offer help and advice to visitors before and after visits. They are based in the Redwood Cafe within the Landmark Building across the road from Preston Prison.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Preston Prison

Governor: Steve Lawrence

Telephone (24 hours): 01772 444 550
Fax: 01772 444 566
Find out about call charges


HMP Preston
2 Ribbleton Lane

See map

Confidential support line

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of any man in HMP/YOI Preston you can call the confidential support line on 01772 444874. This is an answerphone service that is checked daily. Please leave as much information as possible including a telephone number and we will call you back with an update.

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

Published 19 November 2019
Last updated 18 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  3. updated survey link

  4. Prison visits update.

  5. Updated confidential line info

  6. First published.