Guidance

Stoke Heath Prison

Stoke Heath is a men’s prison and young offender institution (YOI) in the village of Stoke Heath, Shropshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Stoke Heath

Stoke Heath 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 Stoke Heath you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 2 days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There are limits to the number of visits a person can have depending on their privilege level. You can check this with Stoke Heath.

Contact Stoke Heath 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 Stoke Heath
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Stoke Heath is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by contacting Stoke Heath or you can also register to use the secure video calls service. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line: 0300 060 6506

The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 4.00pm

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2.30pm to 3.30pm
  • Thursday: 2.30pm to 3.30pm
  • Saturday: 2.30pm to 3.30pm
  • Sunday: 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Visitors must arrive prior to 2pm to be booked in.

Booking line: 0300 060 6506

Legal and professional visits booking line is open: Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 4.00pm

Legal and professional visiting times:

  • Monday and Friday: 9.30am-10.30am

Getting to Stoke Heath

Find Stoke Heath on a map

Stoke Heath is about 17 miles from the nearest station in Shrewsbury. There is a bus service from Shrewsbury to Market Drayton which stops about a mile from the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park at the prison, which includes spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Stoke Heath

When you first arrive at Stoke Heath, you should check in at the visitors centre.

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.

All visitors will be searched by a member of staff. 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.

Stoke Heath has a family-friendly dress code which means visitors should dress appropriately. You cannot wear hooded clothing, coats and jackets, ripped jeans, padded clothing or head gear other than that worn for religious reasons. Additionally, you may be asked to remove boots, headbands or scarves during the search process.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Stoke Heath. Each adult visitor is allowed to take in:

  • essential medication
  • one nappy, wipes, dummy and bottle of milk for babies

You will have to leave everything else in a locker (you will need a £1 coin). Pushchairs and car seats can be left in the search area.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

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.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit. The children’s play area is currently not available to use.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Stoke Heath

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

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 Stoke Heath 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 Stoke Heath.

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 Stoke Heath.

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

People in Stoke Heath are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them under certain circumstances.

A prisoner can apply to receive a clothing parcel within the first 28 days of custody. This needs to be approved before items can be sent in.

A prisoner who is serving a life sentence or who has been in custody for 4 years can apply to receive a ‘lifers’ clothing parcel. This needs to be approved before items can be sent in.

You can post underwear and socks at any time. You can also send books directly to 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.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on any delivery.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Contact Stoke Heath for more information on sending gifts.

Life at Stoke Heath

Stoke Heath is committed to providing a safe and educational and work environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Stoke Heath 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 Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board.

Stoke Heath also trains prisoners to be ‘listeners’ for those who need support during difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Stoke Heath, they will be able to contact a family member by phone.

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 Stoke Heath 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

Nearly 800 men live at Stoke Heath.

Facilities include a library and gym.

Stoke Heath has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to prisoners.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, including training in horticulture, recycling, catering and other professions.

Engineering industries provide work opportunities and training for prisoners in manufacturing metal items for the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence.

There are also 2 tailoring workshops making items for the prison service, such as t-shirts.

Additional work opportunities are available throughout the prison.

Stoke Heath also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Stoke Heath

The Barnardos team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.

The Forward Trust provides support to families affected by loved one’s drug or alcohol use. Call 020 3752 5600 to speak to someone in confidence.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Stoke Heath.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Stoke Heath in response to independent inspections.

Contact Stoke Heath

Governor: John Huntington

Telephone: 01630 636 000
Fax: 01630 636 001
Find out about call charges

Follow Stoke Heath prison on Twitter

Address

HMP/YOI Stoke Heath
Market Drayton
Shropshire
TF9 2JL

See map

Safer custody hotline

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

Telephone: 01630 638 011
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the main switchboard and ask for the orderly officer.

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Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 26 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  2. New visiting times and booking information added.

  3. 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.

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

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

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

  7. updated social and legal covid visit times

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. First published.