Guidance

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 visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 3 of the National Framework for Prisons.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them.

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 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 SocialVisitsRisley@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Monday afternoon - A wing
  • Tuesday morning - B wing, F wing & CSU
  • Tuesday afternoon - C wing
  • Wednesday afternoon - D wing
  • Thursday morning - E wing
  • Thursday afternoon - G wing

Specific visiting times will be given upon booking. Visitors will be allocated a time to arrive at the Visitors Centre when they book their visit.

Booking line: 01925 733284 or 01925 733285

Professional and legal visits can also be booked by sending an email to: LegalVisits.Risley@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Monday afternoon - A wing
  • Tuesday morning - B wing, F wing & CSU
  • Tuesday afternoon - C wing
  • Wednesday afternoon - D wing
  • Thursday morning - E wing
  • Thursday afternoon - G wing

Visitors will be allocated a time to arrive at the Visitors Centre when they book their visit.

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 and get advice and support from the staff. There are no refreshment facilities available in either the visitors centre or the visits hall. There are no crèche facilities.

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 prisoner during their time 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

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.

Email

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 prisoner, depending on the rules at Risley.

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 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.

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

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.

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 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 prisoner 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

Over 1000 men live at Risley in mostly single rooms.

Risley Prison has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to prisoners.

Education and work

Prisoners 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.

Prisoners 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 prisoners 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

Address

HMP Risley
Warrington Road
Risley
Warrington
Cheshire
WA3 6BP

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a prisoner 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 a prisoner.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 29 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

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

  3. New visiting times and booking information added.

  4. Updated visit info

  5. Updated visit info

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

  7. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  8. Updated video call info

  9. Updated informatin about visiting for friends and family

  10. First published.