Preston Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Preston prison

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

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 prisoner 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 online.

You can also book your visit by telephone or you can also register to use the secure video calls service(#secure-video).

Visits booking line: 01772 444 888

The booking line is open Monday to Thursday, 8am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Friday: 8am to 12pm
Saturday and Sunday: closed

Find out about call charges

Visiting times

  • Monday and Wednesday: no visits
  • Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday: 2pm to 3pm and 3:30pm to 4:30pm

You can book a legal or professional visit by emailing:

You can also book a visit by calling: 01772 444 777.

Phone line opening times:

  • Monday – Thursday: 8am to 12pm, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  • Friday: 8am to 12pm

Find out about call charges

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

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.

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 prisoners 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 prisoner during their time at Preston Prison.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video app, create an account, register all visitors and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners 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 prisoner.


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 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

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.

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 prisoners 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.

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board.

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

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner 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 prisoners of all physical abilities. They also have access to a well-stocked library.

Education and work

All prisoners 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).

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

Temporary release

Some Preston Prison prisoners may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Prisoners 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.

Contact Preston Prison

Governor: Dan Cooper (acting)

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 21 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated Governor

  2. Updated visiting times for family and friends visits

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

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

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

  6. Updated physical contact guidance

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

  8. Additional guidance about new COVID-19 variant in the Bolton and Blackburn areas.

  9. visits updated

  10. Updated visit info

  11. Updated visit info

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

  13. Updated visting times in line with new covid regulations

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  16. updated survey link

  17. Prison visits update.

  18. Updated confidential line info

  19. First published.