Sudbury Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Sudbury

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 prisoner can have. You can check this with Sudbury.

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

You can book your visit online, by telephone or by email to

Telephone booking line: 01283 584175
Monday to Friday: 8am to 3pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Wednesday and Thursday: 1:45pm to 2:45pm and 3:15pm to 4:15pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 1:30pm to 2:30pm and 2:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday Kids Club: 9:30am to 11:30am (Every 4th Saturday of the month)

You can book a legal visit by emailing,

  • Tuesday: 9am to 11:30am

Getting to Sudbury Prison

Find Sudbury on a map

The closest main-line railway stations to the prison are at Tutbury and Uttoxeter which are served by Derby, Stoke and Crew stations. From there you can get a taxi or the bus service runs every hour, Monday to Saturday with a limited service on Sundays.

To plan your journey by public transport use:

There is a free visitors car park. There are spaces for disabled visitors to the left as you drive in.

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.

  • Visitors may be given a pat-down search, including children
  • You may also be sniffed by security dogs
  • Visitors must adhere to the prison dress code that applies, further details can be requested on your first visit
  • There are strict controls on what you can take into Sudbury. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker in the visitors’ waiting room or in your car. Lockers need a returnable £1 coin to operate
  • Call the booking line if you have any questions about visiting on 01283 584175 and mention if you are supporting someone who is care experienced so we can discuss all the ways we can accommodate your visiting

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 are no toilet facilities except in the visits hall.

Family days

Sudbury run regular themed Family visits throughout the year. Usually during school holidays from 10am to 3pm with lunch included. Your loved-one can apply for these.

Saturday Kids Club is also available as an extended visit from 9:30am to 11:30am and is generally aimed at families with children 12yrs old and under. ‘Make Some Noise’ attend to run activities for the children to encourage family interaction and we provide breakfast to eat together.

Numbers are limited and this does not run each week but can be booked via email or through internal application.

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

To have a secure video call with someone in this prison you need to:

  • Download the Prison Video app
  • Create an account
  • Register all visitors
  • Add the prisoner to your contact list.

How to book a secure video call

You can request a secure video call with someone in this prison via the Prison Video app.

You will receive a notification when your request has been accepted.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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 exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service. Find more information about this service by visiting

You can book video visits through Phone Hub on Prison Video

You can send emails to someone in Sudbury using the Email a Prisoner 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 prisoners 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 prisoners 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 prisoner 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.

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.

If they choose, staff will email a close family member on their behalf with information about Sudbury and contact information.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.


Each prisoner that 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 including skills, education and training
  • family engagement and preparation for release
  • 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.


Over 600 prisoners live at Sudbury in double cells in 14 dormitories. There are communal washing facilities available.

There are 8 other dorms which are single occupancy and prisoners go on a waiting list for these.

We also have cells accessible for prisoners 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
  • waste management
  • wood industries
  • industrial cleaning
  • various departments supporting staff

Development opportunities include:

  • functional skills courses
  • employment related qualifications
  • vocational courses in construction and rail
  • vocational courses in catering and hospitality
  • personal development courses
  • distance learning
  • self-employment support

Outside Sudbury, there are opportunities for:

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

Services are available to support prisoners for gaining employment on release with:

  • obtaining ID and applying for a bank account
  • creating a CV
  • job searching
  • improving interview skills
  • identifying skills required for employment and setting meaningful targets

Sudbury work with many companies, Universities, Colleges, training providers and community organisations to offer voluntary and paid work opportunities to prisoners whilst on temporary licence (ROTL).  Prisoners can train to be a peer support worker and practice skills in most areas of the prison.

Job Centre Plus attend the prison to help with issues related to work and/or benefits. They offer a job club and work closely with the Prison Employment Lead to help prisoners to find work in time for release.  A space called the Employment Hub is open seven days a week for prisoners to view live job adverts and access support in making applications.  There is also a Career Information, Advice and Guidance worker to help prisoners identify and achieve employment goals.  

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

Temporary release

Sudbury’s 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 Trust
  • Shaw Trust
  • Reconnect
  • Momentic
  • Pact
  • Career Connect
  • Beating Time – Inside Job
  • Pro Bono Society – Nottingham University
  • East Midlands Chamber of Commerce

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

To contact our head of family provision at HMP and YOI Sudbury:

To contact our Family Engagement Manager email:

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
Nr Ashbourne

See map

In an emergency

Call 01283 584225 if you have an immediate concern about the welfare of a prisoner and ask for the Orderly Officer or Duty Governor.

Safer custody hotline

If you think a prisoner is at immediate risk, please call the switchboard on 01283 584000 and ask for the Orderly Officer, explaining that your concern is an emergency.

If your concern is urgent but not life-threatening, please call the Safer Custody Helpline on 01283 584109 or contact the prison Safer Custody team using the web form (the team will pick up all contact forms within 72 hours).

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 26 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added legal visits booking information.

  2. Updated visiting information

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

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

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

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

  7. Updated physical contact guidance

  8. Updated physical contact guidance

  9. New visiting times and booking information added.

  10. 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.

  11. Governor change update.

  12. Visits update

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

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

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

  16. Added information about secure video calls.

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

  18. First published.