Guidance

Stafford Prison

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

Applies to England and Wales

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Book and plan your visit to Stafford prison

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 prisoner 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 or by telephone.

Telephone booking line: 0300 060 6505
Find out about call charges

Booking line opening times:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: midday to 5pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday: 9am to 5pm
  • bank holidays and weeekends: closed

Visiting times:

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

The Visits Centre is open on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from midday to 4:30pm.

Booking in for visitors starts at midday to 3pm.

You can book a legal or professional visit by email to HMPPSvisitbooking@justice.gov.uk or 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: HMPPSvisitbooking@justice.gov.uk

Getting to Stafford Prison

Find Stafford Prison on a map

Bus

There are no direct services to the prison, but buses stop at Sainsbury’s in Chell Road, only a short walk away. The bus station (Queensway) is also very close to the prison.

On leaving the station (Stafford connects to Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London Euston on the West Coast main-line), you can either take a taxi or walk. Use the pelican crossing, then turn left and follow the road around into Victoria Road, keeping to the right-hand side of the road. Cross at the mini-island and take the pedestrian walkway (straight on) past the Crown Court. Cross the road into St. Mary’s Passage and follow the path, keeping St. Mary’s Church on your left. On entering the town, turn left at McDonald’s and walk straight through the town centre until you come to Queensway (The Ring Road). You will see Starbuck’s Café on your right. Cross the first three lane road (Pelican crossing) and turn right, following the path to the second two lane road (Pelican crossing). On crossing the road, turn left, keeping the railings on your left. Walk straight up Gaol Road, with the prison wall on your right. You will see a zebra crossing, nearly opposite the main prison gate. Cross over the road and turn left into County Road. The Visits Centre entrance is immediately on your left, in the large three floor building.

Car

If you are using sat nav, the postcode to use is ST16 3AW. Leave the M6 motorway at Junction 14 and take the Eccleshall Road (2nd exit from the North and 3rd exit from the South). Follow the road for 1 mile and you will reach an island, taking the third exit for Town Centre. Take the nearside lane and turn left at the traffic lights into Browning Street. At the mini roundabout, take the third exit onto Gaol Road. Pass the petrol station on your left and the main prison gate will be on your left.

There is a small public pay and display car park opposite the prison gate.

Car park information:

  • up to 24 hours £4.40
  • Sundays £1.00 all day
  • disabled blue badge holders free
  • there is a pay by phone facility on the car park
  • motorcycles in designated bays free
  • there are 4 designated bays for electric cars with charging facilities

To plan your journey by public transport:

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. This site provides more detailed information about many topics (booking, visits times, directions, facilities, dress code etc.) linked to visiting someone in prison, so we would recommend having a look, before visiting.

HMP Stafford operate a biometrics system to identify visitors. If it is your first visit, the PACT staff will explain the system, which requires you to place your index finger onto a reader, followed by standing still and having your image taken. You will be allowed to use a locker, to keep any unauthorised items which are not allowed into the prison. This includes items such as excess money, mobile phones, medication, shopping etc. You will be allowed to take your ID, locker key and money, up to the value of £30, to enable you to purchase refreshments, sweets etc. in the Visits Hall.

Essential medication can be taken into the prison. You must notify the Visits Centre staff that you need this. You will be required to pass the medication to the Senior Officer in the Visits Hall before you go to your allocated table. They will keep it safely for you, until you require it.

Disabled Visitors can utilise a toilet within the prison gate and adjacent to the Visits Hall. The car park adjacent to the Visits Centre has a number of designated disabled parking spaces. As the Visits Hall is on the first floor, disabled visitors may wish to utilise the lift. We have a number of tables which provide more space for wheelchair users. If you have a sight or hearing disability, please indicate to the Visits Centre staff that you may need assistance. We will be very pleased to assist you in any way we can, to ensure that you can gain full and safe access into and out of the establishment.

There are baby changing facilities within the Visits Centre and Visits Hall. We can accommodate pushchairs, however we would request that you do not bring large prams, given the lack of access and space within certain areas of the prison. If you are bringing young children or babies, we will allow bottles and dummies to go into the prison. Please ensure that you have necessary food and/or refreshments for babies, before entering the prison.

Once you have left the Visits Centre, please cross Gaol Road (via the zebra crossing) to your right. The entrance into the prison for visitors is through the door to the left of the main vehicle gate.

Once inside, you will be subject to a search by prison staff. They will explain the search procedures to you. It is similar to when you go to an airport, passing through a metal detection portal and a pat-down search. You may also be subject to a passive drug dog search, in relation to unauthorised items.

You will pass into the Visits Hall and be allocated a table, where your visits will take place.

Visits staff will give a verbal indication to you 5 minutes before the visits session is due to finish. We try to optimise the amount of contact time you have with your loved one, given the time and effort is has taken for visitors to travel to HMP Stafford.

At the end of the visit, you will return to the Visits Centre, following the same route as when you entered. Please ensure that you collect all of your possessions before you travel home.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £30 to buy refreshments and food from the canteen.

Claim for help with prison visits

If you visit a family member, partner or someone who does not get other visitors, you may be able to get help paying for travel to the prison, overnight accommodation and meals. You can find additional information about this by emailing: HelpwithPrisonVisits@justice.gov.uk or via telephone: 0300 063 2100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or by writing to Help with Prison Visits, PO Box 17594, Birmingham B2 2QP.

Dress Code

All visitors to prisons must adhere to a strict dress code. HMP Stafford operates a family orientated visits policy. A large number of visitors are accompanied by children and we want to foster a decent, safe and relaxed family environment for all of our visitors. Our dress code reflects this aim so for example, see-through, revealing clothing cannot be worn, nor clothing that displays offensive, abusive or insulting words or gestures. Our staff will make decisions and judgements as to when clothing is inappropriate, taking account of decency and diversity. Further information about our dress code is available within the Visits Centre and via the Barnardo’s staff.

Standards of behaviour

Offensive, abusive, threatening words or behaviour towards staff within the Visits Centre and establishment will not be tolerated and may result in the visitor being asked to leave. Consideration will also be given regarding the suspension of future visits. Lewd or inappropriate behaviour within the Visits Hall, may also result in similar action.

There is a leaflet available within the Visits Centre, offering further details and information, linked to visiting at HMP Stafford. Please ask the PACT staff for a printed copy.

The Visits Centre staff will need certain information from you on arrival. They will check that you have a confirmed booking to visit, via the visits booking line.

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 £30 in coins (notes are not allowed). Refreshments are available to purchase 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 PACT, Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments from the tea bar and get advice and support from the staff. There is a play area for children and baby changing facilities.

The centre is open from midday to 4:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

You can call the visits centre on 01785 773132.
Find out about call charges

Family days

HMP Stafford hold 6 family days a year. Normally bimonthly, the dates are based on the Staffordshire school holiday timetable.

We make dates available each January for the year ahead as to give our prisoners plenty of time to make the necessary application and to inform their visitors.

The family day is held over a longer period than normal visiting days, 10am to 4pm.

2024 family days (Tuesdays):

  • 13 February
  • 2 April
  • 28 May
  • 23 July
  • 29 October
  • Christmas family day on Monday 23 December

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

To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:

  • Download the Prison Video app
  • Create an account
  • Register all visitors
  • Add the prisoner to your contact list.

How to book a secure video call

Secure video calls at this prison can be requested by prisoners only.

You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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 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.

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, call the booking line on 0300 060 6505.

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 prisoner 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.

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.

Induction

Each prisoner arriving 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.

Accommodation

Around 750 prisoners live at Stafford across 7 wings, most share a cell.

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.

To contact our Families and Significant Others Lead at HMP Stafford email: familyties.stafford@justice.gov.uk

Family services at Stafford are provided by PACT.

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

If you think the prisoner is at immediate risk please call the switchboard on 01785 773 000 and ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Safety hotline

If your concern is urgent but not life-threatening, please call the Safer Custody Helpline on 01785 773 127 or contact the prison Safer Custody team using the web form (the team will pick up all contact forms within 72 hours).

If you have any other problem contact Stafford Prison.

Contact Stafford Prison

Governor: Tyrienna Greenslade

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

Follow Stafford Prison on Twitter

Address

HMP Stafford
54 Gaol Road
Stafford
Staffordshire
ST16 3AW

See map

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

Published 19 May 2020
Last updated 25 January 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated email addresses for booking legal/professional and video link visits to HMPPSvisitbooking@justice.gov.uk.

  2. Updated visits booking line times and 2024 family day dates

  3. Secure video calls update.

  4. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  5. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  6. Updated visiting information: Reduced visit schedule and testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  7. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  8. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  9. New visiting times and booking information added.

  10. 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.

  11. visits update

  12. visiting

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

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated visiting text

  16. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  17. Updated information about secure video calls.

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

  19. First published.