Ranby Prison

Ranby is a men’s prison in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Ranby

To visit someone in Ranby you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 48 hours in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

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

There is a quiet visits area available for anyone who has difficulties coping with crowds or noise or anyone with a hearing difficulty. You can request a table in this area when you book your visit.

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

Contact Ranby 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 Ranby
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online or by telephone.

Telephone booking line: 01777 862107
Booking line open, Monday to Friday.
Find out about call charges

Booking line: 01777 862 107
The booking line is open:

  • Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm
  • Friday: 9am to 12pm

Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday and Friday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 11am

Ranby Visitors Centre is run by Prison Staff and the PACT team.

To book a face to face legal visit please email:

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm

From 5 March onwards Legal/ Professional visits will run on the below days

  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am
  • Thursday: 9am to 11am

Getting to Ranby

Find Ranby on a map

The closest railway station is in Retford ,from there you can get a taxi or take the bus to HMP Ranby on the A620 Retford to Worksop Rd.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

There is a free visitors car park.

There is also a disabled visitors car park.

Entering Ranby

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 searches, including children
  • You may also be searched by security dogs
  • There are strict controls on what you can take into HMP Ranby. You will have to leave any personal belongings in Visits Centre lockers or in your car - this includes pushchairs and car seats
  • Call the booking line if you have any questions about visiting

If you are bringing small children for your visit you are allowed to take in:

  • one empty bottle or drinking cup
  • one sealed carton of milk (no powder)
  • one bottle of breast milk (Ranby can also support breastfeeding mothers)
  • sealed jars of baby food

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.

Dress code

HMP Ranby operates a family orientated visits policy. The majority of our visitors are accompanied by children and we want to foster a decent, safe and relaxed family environment for all our visitors.

The following items of clothing should not be worn:

Hats, scarves or head coverings which are not worn on religious grounds, jackets or coats, hoodies or gloves, inappropriately damaged clothing, metal hair accessories, steel toe capped shoes/boots or cycle/ motorcycle shoes, non-prescription glasses i.e. sunglasses, see-through / revealing clothing, ripped Jeans, items of clothing that display offensive abusive or insulting words or gestures, mini or very short skirts/dresses unless worn with leggings, shorts which are shorter than mid thigh to knee length, visible or exposed underwear, smart watches.

This list is not exhaustive.

It is up to prison staff to make decisions and judgements as to when clothing is inappropriate. When making these decisions, staff will always consider decency and diversity. You may be asked to adjust clothing or wear alternative clothing if available. As a last resort your visit may be cancelled if the dress code cannot be followed.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre run by prison staff and PACT. There are refreshments available to purchase at the canteen. You are permitted to bring in cash (coins only).

Prisoners at Ranby can apply for extended visits. These are run on a monthly basis.

During the summer months there is an outside visits area available. Access to this area is restricted based on individual behaviour and security risks.

Family days

HMP Ranby run a family visits facility, subject to change. Dates for 2023 are:

  • 5 April
  • 30 August
  • 25 October
  • 22 November
  • 20 December

Keep in touch with someone at Ranby

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

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 have phones in their cells for outgoing calls 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. If a prisoner has listed you as a contact, prison staff may call you to confirm you consent to being contacted.

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 Ranby 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 Ranby.


You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope, and your name and address on the back.

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

Photographs sent from home must have a return address on the envelope. You can also send photos from picture print companies.

All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers. It will also be screened for drugs.

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

No parcels can be sent in by post or handed in on visits.

The only exceptions to this are:

  • clothing needed to attend funerals and court

These are approved by application on an individual basis. Other exceptional circumstances may also be considered.

Contact Ranby for more information on what’s allowed.

Prisoners can buy personal items from approved catalogues rather than arranging for them to be sent in.

Yearly clothing parcels will be accepted subject to meeting the criteria. Please refer to the clothing parcel policy.

Life at Ranby

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

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Ranby 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.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Ranby, 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 Ranby gets an induction on a specialised wing 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.


New arrivals to Ranby prison are held in a seperate area of the prison for the first 14 days.

Around 1,050 prisoners live at Ranby in a mixture of single and double cells across 7 house blocks.

House block 1 is the induction unit and house block 2 is where support is offered for prisoners with substance misuse issues.

There is a healthcare centre, library, sports facilities and gym.

There are multi-faith chaplaincy services.

Education and work

Ranby offers a range of educational courses, work in farms and gardens and workshops, employment courses and offending behaviour courses.

Reading, writing and language support is provided in work areas and on residential wings.

There are over 90 different accredited qualifications available from entry level to Masters degree and above.

Vocational training programmes available include:

  • textiles
  • engineering and powder coat
  • joinery
  • industrial cleaning
  • painting and decorating
  • catering
  • fork lift truck driving
  • health and safety card
  • construction
  • mentoring

Work opportunities include:

  • IT
  • laundry
  • waste management and recycling
  • pallet furniture
  • packing
  • plastic injection
  • gardens
  • wood mill
  • white goods and furniture repair
  • CD/DVD recycling

Ranby’s resettlement team helps prisoners with education, training, employment and accommodation on their release. It has links with training and employment providers locally and regionally. It provides pre-release courses on writing CVs, letters and application forms and interview techniques. They also offer advice on debt management in and out of prison, applying for benefits, and being a father inside prison.

Temporary release

Some prisoners may be eligible for release on temporary license (ROTL). This is based on a thorough risk assessment.

Organisations Ranby works with

Ranby works closely with the probation services, Nottinghamshire healthcare, Barnado’s, Shelter, We Are With You and others to support the needs of prisoners and their families during their time in custody and after release.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

You can read more about what Ranby is doing to support the family and friends of their prisoners in their family and significant others strategy.

Support at Ranby

Family services at Ranby are provided by PACT.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Ranby.

Contact Ranby

Governor: Angie Petit

Telephone (24 hours): 01777 862 000
Fax: 01777 862 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Ranby on Twitter


HMP Ranby
DN22 8EU

See map

In an emergency

Call 01777 862000 if you have an immediate or emergency concern about the welfare of a prisoner and ask for the orderly officer or duty governor.

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner at HMP Ranby prison that are not an immediate concern, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01777 862342
24 hour answering machine
Find out about call charges

Leave a message giving as many details as possible including the prisoners name, prisoner number and what wing they are located on if you know it. If you wish, you can leave your own details and a contact number so the prison can give you feedback, if appropriate.

You can also read more information about safer custody concerns.

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

Published 21 April 2020
Last updated 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

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

  3. Updated visiting information: Reduced visit schedule and testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

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

  5. Corrected visits booking line number.

  6. Updated visits booking line number

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

  8. 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.

  9. visits update

  10. Updated visit info

  11. Updated prison info

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

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Updated information about secure video calls.

  15. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  16. added survey link

  17. Updated safer custody number

  18. First published.