Stafford Prison

Stafford Prison is a prison in the centre of Stafford for men convicted of a sex offence.

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Book and plan your visit to Stafford prison

HMP Stafford is offering visits for family and friends. Visiting times and availability may change at short notice. You should contact the prison direct for any queries.

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

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 Stafford Prison 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 Stafford Prison.

Contact Stafford Prison 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 Stafford Prison
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6505
Find out about call charges

Booking line opening times: Monday to Friday 9:15am to 4pm.

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

As part of Stafford’s monitoring of infection and control measures, visits will be phased in over four weeks from 19 April 2021.

  • Week 1 - Wednesday only
  • Week 2 - Wednesday and Thursday
  • Week 3 - Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Week 4 - Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6505
Find out about call charges

  • Monday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Tuesday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 11am
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 11am

Video link facilities are available for parole hearings, court appearances and offender management meetings. These cannot be used for legal meetings.

To arrange a prison video link, email:

Getting to Stafford Prison

Find Stafford Prison on a map

The closest railway station is Stafford, which is about half a mile from the prison. There are no local bus services so you will need to walk from the station or take a taxi.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a public pay-and-display car park on Gael Road, opposite the main gate. Parking is free for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Stafford Prison

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.

When you arrive at Stafford, you should collect a ticket, or ‘tally’. This shows the order you are let into the prison. These are available from the visitors centre on weekdays and the gate lodge on the weekend from 10:30am.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the vending machine in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Stafford Prison. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need a £1 coin) 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 run by Barnardo’s. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

The centre is open from 10:30am to 4:30pm on Wednesday and Thursday and from 1pm to 4:30pm on the weekend.

There is a tea bar, play area for children and baby changing facilities.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Stafford Prison

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

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.


You can send emails to someone in Stafford Prison 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 Stafford Prison.


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 Stafford Prison.

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

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 other property must be posted in. Prisoners are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them. Contact Stafford Prison 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 Stafford Prison

Stafford Prison 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 Stafford Prison 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.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Stafford Prison, 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 Stafford Prison 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.


Around 750 men live at Stafford across 7 wings. Most men share a room.

Men on the ‘enhanced’ behaviour level can live in single rooms with their own showers.

Prisoners have access to a sports hall, fitness suites, weights room and an outdoor pitch. The fitness programme includes a range of team sports and classes.

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

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities provided by Milton Keynes College. These range from basic skills, such as English and maths, to distance learning with the Open University.

The programme includes training in a variety of trades and professions, including:

  • bricklaying
  • carpentry
  • industrial cleaning
  • painting and decorating
  • plastering

Work is available throughout the prison in areas such as the laundry and catering. Prisoners are also employed by 9 industrial workshops that have contracts with outside businesses, as well as textile and tailoring workshops for the prison service. Prisoners can earn qualifications while working.

Stafford Prison also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Organisations Stafford Prison works with

Shannon Trust helps prisoners with their reading skills and organises writers in residence at the prison library.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Stafford Prison.

Contact Stafford Prison

Governor: Ian West

Telephone: 01785 773 000
Fax: 01785 773 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Stafford Prison on Twitter


HMP Stafford
54 Gaol Road
ST16 3AW

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you are worried about the health or safety of a prisoner, call our safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01785 773 127

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Published 19 May 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. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  6. New visiting times and booking information added.

  7. 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.

  8. visits update

  9. visiting

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

  11. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  12. Updated visiting text

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Updated information about secure video calls.

  15. Updated: HMP Stafford visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  16. First published.