Sudbury Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Sudbury

HMP Sudbury is offering visits for family and friends. Visiting times and availability may change at short notice. You should contact the prison direct for any queries.

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

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 Sudbury you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit up to 28 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 may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have, depending on ‘privileges’. Prisoners with enhanced privileges can have 4 visits a month, standard can have 3 and basic can have 2 visits a month.

Contact Sudbury 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 Sudbury
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Sudbury 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 telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Booking line number: 01283 584 175 The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 11am and 1.30pm-3pm

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday and Thursday: 2pm to 3pm and 4pm to 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 10am, 11am to 12noon, 2pm to 3pm and 4pm to 5pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Sudbury Prison

Find Sudbury on a map

The closest railway stations are Tutbury and Uttoxeter. From there you can take a bus.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

There is plenty of parking at the prison with Blue Badge spaces available.

Entering Sudbury Prison

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 need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Sudbury has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear family-friendly clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons). You will be turned away if you are not dressed appropriately.

Each visitor group is allowed to take in a maximum of £25.

The only items you can take in are those for small children, such as nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, feeding bottles and sealed baby food.

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 family-friendly visitors centre run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT).

Visitors are offered a warm welcome, information and support. There are books and colouring in for children.

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are no toilet facilities except in the visits hall.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Sudbury

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

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends will need to download the Prison Video 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.


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 prisoner, 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 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

Prisoners 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 prisoner can pick them up.

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

Family and friends of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their 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.

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.

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

Sudbury aims to provide prisoners 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.

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

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

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner 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 prisoners go on a waiting list for these.

We also have rooms accessible for people with disabilities.

Education and work

All prisoners 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

Prisoners 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 prisoners identify and achieve employment goals.

Temporary release

Sudburys prisoners 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 prisoner is suitable. This will be explained to the prisoner 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.

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 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  2. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  3. Updated visiting information: Reduced visit schedule and testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  4. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  5. Updated physical contact guidance

  6. Updated physical contact guidance

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

  8. 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.

  9. Governor change update.

  10. Visits update

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

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

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

  14. Added information about secure video calls.

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

  16. First published.