Guidance

Styal Prison and Young Offender Institution

Styal is a prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Wilmslow, Cheshire, for women aged 18 and over.

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Book and plan your visit to Styal

Prison visits are temporarily suspended at Styal. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be exceptions for compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel. This position will be extended over the Christmas period. We will update here as soon as this changes.

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.

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.

Keep in touch with someone at Styal

You may not be able to speak with someone at Styal during their first few days. This is because it can take up to 48 hours to approve who they can be in touch with.

One supervised phone call is allowed on arrival in the First Night Centre. If a resident has restrictions in place they will not be able to make a call.

Women do not have phones in their rooms so they will always need to call you rather than you call them.

If you need to contact someone in Styal urgently, phone the switchboard and ask to speak to the Duty Governor or Orderly Officer.

Phone calls

Residents can only phone you if you are named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security.

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.

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

Email

You can send emails to someone in Styal 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 Styal.

Letters

Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, you can use their date of birth instead or you can find out their prison number.

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 also send money by post in an envelope marked ‘for the attention of the Governor’. Make cheques or postal orders payable to ‘The Governor HMP Styal’ and include the recipient’s name and prison number or date of birth on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Residents are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Styal for more information on what’s allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Styal

Styal is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where women can learn new skills and focus on their personal development.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Styal has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board.

Styal also has a peer mentoring scheme. Trained residents give other women advice and tell them about agencies that can help them. Some also organise book clubs to help improve reading skills.

Mentors work towards a level 2 qualification in mentoring.

Arrival and first night

When people first arrive they stay in the First Night Centre for up to 48 hours before moving to their accommodation.

They are interviewed by an officer and are introduced to living in custody. The officer will explain the prison rules and they will be offered a hot meal, shower and a phone call to their family or partner.

After that, they will see a nurse who can help with any healthcare needs.

They will be given toiletries and be able to buy a grocery pack or a vape pack. They can borrow money from the prison if they have no cash on them when they arrive.

New residents will also meet the duty chaplain, mental health nurse and domestic abuse support worker during their first 48 hours to help with any concerns they might have.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Styal 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 480 women live at Styal.

The accommodation is a mix of dormitories and individual rooms.

Styal also has a Mother and Baby Unit for women with babies up to 18 months. The unit is run by the Action for Children charity.

Faith services

The diverse chaplaincy team offers weekly services, personal development courses, bereavement support and a quiet space for personal prayer.

Education and work

The education at Styal is provided by Novus and includes:

  • English and maths
  • hairdressing and beauty
  • functional skills
  • IT and business admin
  • painting and decorating
  • horticulture

Residents of the Mother and Baby Unit can take part in programmes that support the development of their child. There’s also a crèche so mothers can attend other education classes.

The library, provided by Cheshire County Council, has several computers for learning (without internet access) as well as a range of books, CDs and DVDs.

Residents produce a quarterly magazine called ‘Innit’ which received a national award for the quality of journalism in 2006.

Temporary release

Women at Styal can be considered for release on temporary licence. It depends on where they are in their sentence and a thorough risk assessment.

Women can be considered for childcare resettlement if they can show that they were the sole carer of their child before they came into custody and will be again on release. This also depends on a thorough risk assessment.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Styal

Styal works hard to help families keep in contact.

The Phoenix Futures charity helps to identify women and families who need support, such as mediation. They also help on the tea bar at visits, as well as organising activities for children and family days.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Styal.

If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

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

Contact Styal

Governor: Danny Khan

Telephone: 01625 553 000
Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm
Weekends and Bank Holidays, 7am to 5pm
Fax: 01625 553 001
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP/YOI Styal
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 4HR

See map

Safer custody hotline

Telephone: 01625 553 337
Available 24 hours a day with an answerphone facility

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Published 2 October 2019
Last updated 4 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

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

  4. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  5. Updated: HMP Styal visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  6. Updated information to include confirmation of secure video calls being available at this prison.

  7. Updated survey link

  8. Prison visits update.

  9. Added link to Styal action plan

  10. First published.