Guidance

Usk Prison

Usk is a men’s prison in the town of Usk, South Wales. It is managed jointly with Prescoed Prison.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

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 Usk

To visit someone in Usk you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

Residents can have 2 visits a month or 3 on ‘enhanced’ behaviour.

Contact Usk 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 Usk
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by email or telephone.

Email: usk@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
Booking line: 01291 671 730
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm, 5pm to 7pm
  • Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Book legal visits by telephone.

Booking lines:
01291 671 730
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 8:30am to 11:30am
  • Wednesday: 8:30am to 11:30am
  • Thursday: 8:30am to 11:30am

Getting to Usk

Find Usk on a map

The closest railway stations are Abergavenny to the north and Pontypool & New Inn, Cwmbran and Newport to the south. There is a bus service from Newport to Usk. You will need to take a taxi from other stations.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a free car park opposite the prison entrance, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Usk

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.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans. Ask at the visitors centre if you have questions about appropriate dress.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £20 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the snack bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Usk. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

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

The visiting hall has a kitchen serving hot and cold food. There is also a play area for children.

There is no visitors centre at Usk.

Family days

Usk holds 6 family days a year giving residents time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Usk

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

Phone calls

Residents 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 during phone hours, which are 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4:45pm on weekends. This list is approved by security and any new names must be checked and cleared before they are added.

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 Usk 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 Usk.

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 Usk.

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 and cheques. These should be made payable to ‘NOMS Agency’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Usk are given a facilities list which details items that can be sent to residents by post. Contact Usk for more information on what’s allowed.

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 Usk

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

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Gwent-wide Adult Safeguarding Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Usk, 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 Usk 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.

Accommodation

Around 280 men live at Usk. Most live in shared rooms across the 3 main wings, called A, B and C. Men on the ‘enhanced’ behaviour level can apply to live in the Comber Unit, which is a separate dormitory style unit. There are TVs in all rooms.

There are indoor and outdoor gym facilities offering a range of activities for residents of all physical abilities.

Usk has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities, ranging from basic skills, such as literacy, numeracy, computing skills and employability, to higher learning and qualifications. The programme also includes training in a variety of trades and professions, including:

  • health and safety
  • food safety
  • wellbeing
  • business studies
  • woodcraft
  • bricklaying

Work is available throughout the prison and in the industrial workshops.

Usk also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programme courses.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Usk

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. Details are available on posters in the visiting hall.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Usk. 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 Usk in response to independent inspections.

Contact Usk

Governor: Giles Mason

Telephone (24 hours): 01291 671 600
Fax: 01291 671 752
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Usk
47 Maryport Street
Usk
Monmouthshire
NP15 1XP

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Usk, call the gatehouse and ask to speak to the orderly officer or duty governor.

Telephone (24 hours): 01291 671 731
Find out about call charges

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

Published 24 March 2020
Last updated 24 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added confirmation of secure video calls being made available at this prison.

  2. added survey link

  3. COVID19 Update

  4. First published.