The Mount is a men’s prison in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire.
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Book and plan your visit to The Mount
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 prisoner can have. You can check this with The Mount.
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
How to book family and friends visits
You can book your visit online or by telephone.
Telephone booking line number: 01442 836 352.
The booking telephone line is open Monday to Friday 10am to 12pm.
The online booking line is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
- Monday: 9am to 10:45am and 2pm to 3:45pm
- Tuesday: 2pm to 3:45pm
- Wednesday: 9am to 10:45am and 2pm to 3:45pm
- Thursday: 2pm to 3:45pm
- Friday: no visits
- Saturday: 9:30am to 11am and 2pm to 3:30pm
- Sunday: 2pm to 3:30pm
How to book legal and professional visits
You can book a legal visit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal visiting times:
- Tuesday: 9am to 10:45am
- Thursday: 9am to 10:45am
Getting to The Mount
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 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.
The Prison Advice and Care Trust can provide provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners. Ask in the visitors centre to learn more.
All visitors are asked to check-in at the desk and then proceed to a waiting area prior to the visit.
Baby-changing facilities are available in the centre and the visiting hall. There is a lift for those with mobility issues.
You can contact The Mount for information about family days.
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
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
Secure video calls at this prison can be requested by prisoners only.
You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.
Prisoners have phones in their cells 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.
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.
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. Prisoners are allowed one parcel in the first 28 days of sentencing. Prisoners 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 prisoners can learn new skills to help them on release.
Security and safeguarding
Every prisoner at The Mount 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.
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.
Each prisoner that 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.
There are over 1000 prisoners accommodated at The Mount in 9 specialist units. These include units for over 50s and for wellbeing. All cells have telephones.
Education and work
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 prisoners can learn English, maths, graphic design, music technology, art, cooking, barbering and business skills. There are occasional workshops in acting and writing.
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.
Concerns, problems and complaints
In an emergency
Call 01442 836 300 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.
|01442 836 351
|Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening or complete a safer custody contact form on the Prisoners’ Families Helpline website.
|Staff Integrity Hotline
|0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
|This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
|Prisoners’ Families Helpline
|0808 808 2003
|The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
|Unwanted Prisoner Contact
|0300 060 6699
|If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.
You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email email@example.com or contact by phone.
Problems and complaints
HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for The Mount in response to independent inspections.
Contact The Mount
Governor: John Gormley
Telephone: 01442 836 300
Opens 24 hours
Fax: 01442 836 301
Find out about call charges
HMP The Mount
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