Guidance

Styal Prison and Young Offender Institute

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

Book and plan your visit to Styal

To visit someone in Styal you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list (only the resident can add you to or remove you from their visitor list)
  • book your visit at least 48 hours in advance
  • have the the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit. A maximum of 3 adults and 2 children can visit at one time.

The number of visits a person can have depends on if they are on remand or have been convicted. You can check this with Styal.

Contact Styal if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have a health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Styal
  • 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 6512
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • every day except Friday, 2pm to 4pm

Email: hmppsvisitbooking@justice.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 0300 060 6512
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 10:30am and 10:45am to 11:45am

Getting to Styal

Find Styal on a map

The closest railway stations are:

  • Styal Station - a 10 minute walk to the prison
  • Wilmslow Station - a 5 minute taxi ride to the prison

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a car park at the prison. Parking is limited and there are no designated spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Styal

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

All visitors will need to be given a rub-down search, including children.

No cash is allowed inside the prison. You will need to leave any valuables in a locker before entering the visitor 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 Partners of Prisoners (POPS). It has a children’s play area and you can buy refreshments.

You can also buy snacks and drinks from the cafe in the visits hall inside the prison using vouchers available from the visitors’ centre.

A children’s play area is available for use during visits.

Family visits

Styal has family visits on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30am to 11am.

A family visit allows a mother to spend time with her children. The child’s guardian or carer brings them into the prison, leaves them with their mother and collects them after the visit.

The resident needs to apply for a family visit 2 weeks in advance.

Family visits with children accompanied by Social Services are available weekday mornings, through pre-booking by Social Services only.

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.

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

Published 2 October 2019
Last updated 4 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added link to Styal action plan
  2. First published.