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.

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Book and plan your visit to Spring Hill

Spring Hill prison is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 1 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 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 2 adults can visit at a time, plus children. At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

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

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

Spring Hill is running a limited visits schedule, allowing 1 visit per month at the moment with immediate family only. 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.

Telephone booking line: 01296 445 082
The booking line is open Monday to Friday: 10am to 12pm. Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Saturday: 1:45pm to 3:15pm
  • Sunday: 1:45pm to 3:15pm

Visitors must not arrive before 1:30pm.

You must call to book a legal visit.

Telephone: 01296 445002
Find out about call charges

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 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

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. The lockers provided are very small, sufficient for leaving your ID, phone and car keys in.

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 are toilet facilities available in HMP Grendon Gate

Telephone: 01296 445 243
Find out about call charges

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Spring Hill

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

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 Spring Hill 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 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.

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

Prisoners at 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.

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.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Spring Hill

Spring Hill is committed to encouraging and supporting prisoner 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 prisoner 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.

Prisoners 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.

Prisoners 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 prisoners as they approach release.

Temporary release

Prisoners can be assessed for temporary release. This time can be used for work experience and community work, as well as preparing for release. Prisoners 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 prisoners. 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
Find out about call charges

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
Find out about call charges

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

Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 12 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  2. Revised visiting times added.

  3. New visiting times and booking information added.

  4. 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.

  5. Visit update

  6. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

  8. added survey link

  9. First published.