Guidance

The Mount Prison

The Mount is a men’s prison in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire.

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Book and plan your visit to The Mount

The Mount is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 of the National Framework for Prisons.

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.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them.

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 The Mount you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit in advance at least 3 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 their privileges.

Contact The Mount 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 The Mount
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

The Mount 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. The telephone booking line number is 01442 836 352.

The booking line is open Monday to Friday 10:30am to 4pm.

Online booking service email address: socialvisits.themount@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Monday to Friday: 5:45pm to 6:45pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Email: professionalvisitsthemount@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am
  • Thursday: 9am to 11am

Getting to The Mount

Find The Mount on a map

The SatNav postcode to enter is HP3 0RU.

The closest mainline railway station is Hemel Hempstead which is a 5-10 minute taxi ride from the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is free car parking and some spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering The Mount

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, given an eye scan or take part in facial recognition testing.

The Mount has a dress code policy which is displayed in the visitors centre. 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).

There will be no refreshments available during your visit.

There are strict controls on what you can take into The Mount. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker. You can leave pushchairs in the visitors centre if you’ve come by public transport.

If you leave the visitors hall for any reason, you will not be able to get back in.

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

A family-friendly visitors centre is run by the Care and Resettlement of Offenders charity (HACRO) which offers support and information. There are currently no services being delivered.

All visitors are asked to check-in at the desk and then proceed to a waiting area prior to the visit.

There will be no refreshments during your visit. Baby-changing facilities are available in the centre and the visiting hall. There is a lift for those with mobility issues.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Keep in touch with someone at The Mount

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

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

Prisoners have phones in their rooms but 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 at most times of the day. 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.

Email

You can send emails to someone in The Mount using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from prisoner’s, depending on the rules at The Mount.

Letters

You can write at any time.

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

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact The Mount.

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

People in The Mount are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Men are allowed one parcel in the first 28 days of sentencing. Men with enhanced privileges can get one parcel a year.

Other prisoners can only apply for a parcel to be considered under exceptional circumstances.

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.

Make sure to include the prisoners name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at The Mount

The Mount is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at The Mount, 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.

Induction

Each person who arrives at The Mount 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. There is peer support and one-to-one help available.

Accommodation

There are over 1000 men living at The Mount in 9 specialist units. These include units for over 50s and for wellbeing. All rooms have telephones.

Education and work

At present Education and other activities are limited as part of the establishment’s response to COVID-19, however when these re-open there is full-time and part-time education to help with literacy and numeracy, IT, employment and life skills. As part of this there is vocational training where men can learn English, maths, graphic design, music technology, art, cooking, barbering and business skills. There are occasional workshops in acting and writing.

There is a well-stocked library which also provides extra services from Storybook Dads, The Shannon Trust reading charity, writing groups and Open University distance learning.

Vocational workshops include warehousing and storage, glass fabrication, woodwork, upcycling bicycles, bricklaying, plastering, handyman skills, car mechanics, recycling, gardening and coffee roasting.

There are many training courses on offer and work is available in the farm and gardens.

A range of skills and offending behaviour programmes are offered to support rehabilitation in preparation for release.

Organisations The Mount works with

The Care and Resettlement of Offenders charity (HACRO) runs the visitors centre.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at The Mount

Family services are provided by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) who deliver support for families, maintaining family links and offer courses to develop parenting skills.

Prisoners can apply for help in the prison or families can get support in the visitors centre.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem you can email, complaints_correspondencethemount@justice.gov.uk or contact The Mount. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

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

Contact The Mount

Governor: Katie Price

Telephone: 01442 836 300
Opens 24 hours
Fax: 01442 836 301
Find out about call charges

Follow The Mount on Twitter

Address

HMP The Mount
Molyneaux Avenue
Bovingdon
Hemel Hempstead
Hertfordshire
HP3 0NZ

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in The Mount, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01442 836 351
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number, the reason for your call and the name and prisoner number of the man you are worried about. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the main switchboard 01442 836 300 and ask to speak to the orderly officer.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 25 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. Revised visiting times added.

  2. New visiting times and booking information added.

  3. 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.

  4. visits update

  5. Updated visit info

  6. Updated visit info

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

  8. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  9. Updated: HMP The Mount visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  10. Added survey link

  11. Added email address for complaints.

  12. Prison visits update.

  13. First published.