Stoke Heath Prison

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

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. You can:

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

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Book and plan your visit to Stoke Heath

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

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6506
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are every day, except Friday, from 2:15pm to 4pm.


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6506
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 11:30am.

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 must bring ID.

Visitors aged 18 and older should have either 1 of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket
  • employer ID card (if it shows the employer’s name, the name of the visitor, and includes a photo and signature)
  • Blue Badge parking permit
  • European Community ID

Or 2 of the following forms of ID:

  • rail or bus pass (with photo card)
  • cheque book or credit/debit/store card with signature
  • young person’s proof of age card
  • trade union or student union membership card
  • allowance book (showing an address that matches the visiting order)
  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate
  • household bill, rent book or bank statement (showing an address that matches the visiting order)
  • driving licence (paper counterpart)
  • library card with signature
  • National Insurance card
  • non-EU foreign ID or residence card
  • rent card

Children must have ID showing their date of birth, such as a birth certificate or red book.

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:

  • up to £20 in coins and £5 notes (larger notes are not allowed) for snacks and drinks
  • 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.

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. There is also a play area for children.

Inside the visiting hall, there is a snack bar, children’s play area and baby-changing facilities.

Family days

Stoke Heath holds 6 to 8 family days a year, giving residents more time to spend time with their children in a relaxed setting.

Residents can apply for these visits or families can ask for more information in the visitors centre.

Keep in touch with someone at Stoke Heath

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

Phone calls

Residents 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 Stoke Heath using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident, depending on the rules at Stoke Heath.


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.

Gifts and parcels

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

A resident 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 resident 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 order books from approved retailers and have them delivered directly to Stoke Heath. You can use Blackwell’s, Foyles, Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery and Mr B’s Emporium.

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 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 residents to be ‘listeners’ for those who need support during difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Stoke Heath, 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 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.


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 residents.

Education and work

Residents 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 residents 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 residents. 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. 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 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


HMP/YOI Stoke Heath
Market Drayton

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