Risley Prison

Risley is a prison for men in Warrington, Cheshire, including men convicted of a sex offence.

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Book and plan your visit to Risley

Risley 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 Risley you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit in advance
  • have 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 person can have. You can check this with Risley.

Contact Risley 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 Risley
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Risley 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 telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking Line: 01925 733284 or 01925 733285

The booking line is open Monday-Friday: 9am to 4pm

You can also book by sending an email to

Visiting times:

  • Monday-Thu: morning and afternoon visits.
  • Friday: morning visits only.

Specific visiting times are given upon booking.

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Risley

Find Risley on a map

Risley is about 6 miles from Warrington Central and Warrington Bank Quay railway stations. From the stations, use buses going to Leigh or take a taxi.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park next to the prison. There are additional spaces for Blue Badge holders next to the visitors centre.

Entering Risley

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 sensibly. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Risley. 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 at Risley. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

Family days

There are currently no family days running in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Keep in touch with someone at Risley

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

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 Risley 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 Risley.

Secure video calls

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

Read more about how it works


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 Risley.

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.

Gifts and parcels

People in Risley are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Risley for more information on what’s allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Risley

Risley 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 Risley 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 Warrington Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Risley, 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 Risley 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 1000 men live at Risley in mostly single rooms.

Birmingham Prison has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad range of vocational training, including interior fitting, painting and decorating, plastering, bricklaying and cleaning. Risley is also part of the Prisons ICT Academy (PICTA) which helps prepare prisoners for work in information and communications technology (ICT) roles.

They can take classroom courses in subjects such as English, maths, art and design and IT. They can also train with the PE department as a gym instructor or take other sports-related qualifications.

Residents can work at Risley in contract services workshops as well the kitchens, laundry, gardens and waste management unit. They can also work in the braille workshop which is part of a restorative justice project (where residents meet with the victims of crime).

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Risley

Governor: Nicki Smith

Telephone: 01925 733 000
Fax: 01925 733 001
Find out about call charges


HMP Risley
Warrington Road

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a resident at Risley, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01925 733007

Find out about call charges

Leave your name, the reason for your call and the name of your loved one and their prisoner number. You will be called back in 24 hours.

In the case of an emergency, please contact 01925 733023 and ask to speak to the Orderly Officer. This number should only be used if you believe there is an imminent threat to the life of the resident.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 24 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  2. Updated video call info

  3. Updated informatin about visiting for friends and family

  4. First published.