Guidance

The Mount Prison

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

HMP The Mount is now offering limited visits for family and friends.

To ensure the safety of visitors, residents and staff, there are strict guidelines which must be followed during you visit.

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.

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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 and a maximum of 5 people can visit at once.

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 currently operating a limited visits schedule for family and friends. You can book your visit by email. There is no online booking service available.

Booking email address: socialvisits.themount@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

Monday to Thursday, 5:45pm to 6:45pm

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 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

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).

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £40 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the snack bars.

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 need a £5 deposit). You can leave pushchairs in the visitors centre if you’ve come by public transport.

If you leave the visitors centre 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 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

Residents can apply for family days where they can spend more time with their partners and children. They are held 6 times a year in the school holidays.

Keep in touch with someone at The Mount

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

Phone calls

Residents 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 the resident, 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 also send:

  • postal orders (dated within last 6 months)
  • cheques
  • cash

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

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

If approved, a sticker is given to the resident who must send it to whoever is sending them the parcel. The approved sticker must be on the parcel. Make sure to include the person’s 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 resident 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, enhanced privilege and for wellbeing and rehabilitation. All rooms 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 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.

Temporary release

Men have an eligibility Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) date when they can apply to work outside the prison on resettlement day release. If this goes well, they are considered for home visits. Men are only considered for home visits when they have 6 months or less until their release date.

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.

Residents 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.

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Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 24 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated: HMP The Mount visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  2. Added survey link

  3. Added email address for complaints.

  4. Prison visits update.

  5. First published.