Sudbury Prison

Sudbury Prison is a men’s prison near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Sudbury

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Sudbury following national lockdown. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel.

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 Sudbury

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

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

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 Sudbury 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 Sudbury.


You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number or date of birth on the envelope. Also add your name and address on the back of the envelope.

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:

  • postal orders
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to ‘The Governor - HMP Sudbury’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back, as well as your name and address.

Gifts and parcels

People in Sudbury must first apply to have any items brought in. Then the visitor brings the items to the prison when they visit. They are signed for and secured. Once opened, checked and processed at reception, the resident can pick them up.

Items such as bedding, clothes and footwear are allowed as parcels if men are not receiving visits.

Life at Sudbury

Sudbury is a rehabilitation and resettlement prison. Sudbury is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Residents are required to work, attend education classes or training courses.

Sudbury aims to provide residents with healthcare equivalent to that in the community, sport and leisure facilities and opportunities to practice their religion.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Support networks are available to residents including a listeners scheme, Samaritans and peer supporters.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Sudbury, 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 Sudbury 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.

They will meet their supervisor from the Offender Management Unit (OMU) within 10 days of their arrival who will deal with any individual issues.


Almost 600 men live at Sudbury in double rooms in 14 dormitories. There are communal washing facilities available.

There are 6 other dorms which are single occupancy and residents go on a waiting list for these.

We also have rooms accessible for people with disabilities.

Education and work

All residents in Sudbury Prison are expected to work, unless they’re unable to due to age or disability. Sudbury has a number of partners who provide work opportunities both inside and outside the prison.

Opportunities inside Sudbury include working in:

  • kitchens
  • gardens
  • farm shop
  • waste management
  • workshops
  • painting and decorating
  • carpentry
  • bricklaying
  • plastering

Outside Sudbury, there are opportunities for:

  • community and charity placements
  • work experience
  • educational courses
  • paid employment

Residents can get help with drug and alcohol issues and attend offending behaviour courses. Men in Sudbury must sign up to a drug testing programme.

They can also train to be peer support workers in most areas of the prison.

Men in Sudbury get help with opening a bank account and advice on managing debt and finding accommodation.

Job Centre Plus attends the prison to help with issues related to work or benefits. There is also a National Career Service worker to help residents identify and achieve employment goals.

Temporary release

Sudbury Prison residents can apply for release on temporary licence (ROTL).

This can be used to gain work experience in the local community, maintain family ties and prepare for release.

The prison follows the most up to date policies for assessing whether a resident is suitable. This will be explained to the resident when he meets with his offender supervisor.

Organisations Sudbury works with

Sudbury works with many organisations including:

  • Care after Combat
  • Armed forces veterans breakfast club
  • Amey
  • Phoenix
  • Alcoholic Anonymous
  • The Samaritans
  • People Plus
  • Trackwork Limited
  • Learning Together – Nottingham University
  • RMF Construction
  • Suffolk Libraries
  • Derbyshire Police
  • Derbyshire Social Care Services
  • Remidi (restorative justice)
  • West Midlands Mentoring (Guns & Gangs)
  • St Giles
  • Shaw Trust

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Sudbury

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) can provide information and support.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Sudbury. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Sudbury Prison

Governor: Craig Smith

Telephone (24 hours): 01283 584 000
Find out about call charges

Follow Sudbury Prison on Twitter


HMP Sudbury

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Sudbury, call the safer custody hotline which is checked every night.

Telephone: 01283 584 109
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number, the man’s name and prisoner number and a brief message about your concerns. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 18 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Governor change update.

  2. Visits update

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

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

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

  6. Added information about secure video calls.

  7. Updated: HMP Sudbury visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  8. First published.