Guidance

Spring Hill Prison

Spring Hill is a men’s open prison in the village of Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire. It is jointly managed with Grendon Prison, which is on the same site.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

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

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

Book and plan your visit to Spring Hill

To visit someone in Spring Hill you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 3 working days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

Up to 3 adults can visit at a time, plus children. At least one visitor must be 18 or older.

There are limits to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with the resident.

Contact Spring Hill 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 Spring Hill
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You must book your visit online.

If you have any questions about your visit, contact:

Email: socialvisits.springhill@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 01296 445 243
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Visiting times:

  • Friday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:45pm

You must call to book a legal visit.

Telephone: 01296 445022
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Visiting times are Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 11:30am and 1pm to 4:30pm.

Getting to Spring Hill

Find Spring Hill on a map

The closest railway stations are Bicester Village and Bicester North which are about 8 miles from Spring Hill. There are no buses from Bicester so you will need to get a taxi.

Aylesbury station is 13 miles from Spring Hill where you can catch a local bus on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a car park outside the main gate, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Spring Hill

All visitors aged 18 and older need to bring one form of photo ID, such as:

  • 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

If you don’t have any photo ID, 2 forms of other ID may be accepted. These can include bank statements, utility bills or a birth certificate.

You should also bring your booking confirmation email, either printed or on your phone.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be asked to cover up if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

Visitors can take cash into the visiting hall to buy food and drink from the canteen. The maximum allowed is £20 in coins and notes.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Spring Hill. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security.

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 run by the prison where family and friends can relax, get a free tea or coffee and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open from 1:30pm on visiting days. If you arrive early, you can use the Grendon visitors centre from 12:30pm.

Telephone: 01296 445 243
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The centre includes a play area for children and lockers to store your belongings. You will need a £1 coin for this.

There are indoor and outdoor play areas and baby changing facilities in the visiting hall.

Family days

Spring Hill holds 3 family days a year, during the Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays. These special visits give residents more time to spend with their families in a relaxed setting.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Spring Hill

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

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.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Spring Hill 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 Spring Hill.

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 Spring Hill.

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 Spring Hill are given a list of approved items that can be handed in during visits.

The items should be handed to staff to be opened and checked. Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

Contact Spring Hill for more information on what’s allowed.

Life at Spring Hill

Spring Hill is committed to encouraging and supporting residents with employment, training, accommodation and other needs as they prepare for release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Spring Hill 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 Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Spring Hill, 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 Spring Hill 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

Around 300 men live at Spring Hill. Most men share a room.

Residents have access to a gym, weights room, sports field, library and chaplaincy.

Education and work

Learning opportunities are provided by Milton Keynes College. Qualifications are available in:

  • functional Skills, including IT
  • carpentry
  • plumbing
  • horticulture
  • kitchen services
  • customer services, including batista skills
  • mentoring

Courses are also available from Oxford Brookes University and the Open University.

Spring Hill is part of the Prisons ICT Academy (PICTA) which helps prepare prisoners for work in information and communications technology (ICT) roles.

Residents are encouraged to find employment. This ranges from training placements which allow men to earn qualifications while working, and full-time work. Springhill provides opportunities through companies that have an ongoing relationship with the prison, such as Chef Direct, Green King and DHL. Men can also find their own work.

Work placements are also available throughout the prison, for example in the kitchens, farms and gardens. Many of these come with the chance to earn qualifications at the same time.

The ‘working out’ scheme enables prisoners to also work in the community. These placements start on a voluntary basis and can progress to paid employment.

Spring Hill also offers programmes in personal development, social and life skills designed to help residents as they approach release.

Temporary release

Residents can be assessed for temporary release. This time can be used for work experience and community work, as well as preparing for release. Residents can apply for this within the prison.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Spring Hill

Spring Hill’s visits coordinator can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. Ask in the visitors centre to learn more.

Problems and complaints

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

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Spring Hill in response to independent inspections.

Contact Spring Hill

Governor: Becky Hayward

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 000
Fax: 01296 445 001
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Follow Spring Hill and Grendon on Twitter

Address

HMP Spring Hill
Grendon Underwood
Buckinghamshire
HP18 0TL

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Spring Hill, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone (24 hours): 01296 445 026
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Published 7 April 2020