Guidance

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

Visiting rules may change if there is a COVID outbreak within the prison.

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 9am to 6pm.

The visits booking line is closed during weekends and on all public holidays.

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 11am to 4:30pm.

Booking in for visitors will start at 12pm to 3pm.

Email: visitsbooking.westmidlands@noms.gsi.gov.uk

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: videolink.stafford@hmps.gsi.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 satellite navigation, 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.

The Visits Centre is on your right and a small public (pay and display - £4.70 all day) car park is directly after the Visits Centre. There are additional car parks around the town centre, allowing payment per hour.

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. 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 £20, 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.

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 £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 PACT, 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 Saturday and Sundays.

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

Family days

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

Dates are published 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.

Our last family day this year (2022) is being held on Tuesday 20 December 2022.

Our Family Days for 2023 are:

  • Tuesday 21 February
  • Tuesday 4 April
  • Tuesday 30 May
  • Tuesday 1 August
  • Tuesday 31 October
  • Tuesday 19 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

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video 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 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, 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

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.

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

Support at Stafford

Family services at Stafford are provided by PACT.

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

Address

HMP Stafford
54 Gaol Road
Stafford
Staffordshire
ST16 3AW

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have a concern that there is an imminent risk of danger to life of a prisoner at HMP Stafford and you wish to speak to a staff member to raise this concern, then you can call the switch-board.

01785 773 000

Whilst the member of staff answering the call will not be able to discuss the resident with you, they will immediately pass your concern onto a senior member of staff for action. Please supply your name, relationship to the resident and a contact number, so we can feed-back to you.

Concern and Safety Line

If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of any resident at HMP Stafford, but there is no immediate threat or danger to life, you can call the following number.

01785 773 127

During office hours (Monday to Friday), you can speak to a member of the Safer Custody Team. During weekends, nights and Bank Holidays, you can leave a message on the answer-phone. Messages are collected three times (daily) and your call will be returned. Please ensure that you speak clearly, giving your name and a contact telephone number, so we can call you back.

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

Published 19 May 2020
Last updated 2 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Secure video calls update.

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

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

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

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

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

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

  8. 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.

  9. visits update

  10. visiting

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

  12. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  13. Updated visiting text

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated information about secure video calls.

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

  17. First published.