Guidance

Wakefield Prison

Wakefield is a high security prison for men, including men convicted of a sex offence, in West Yorkshire.

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 Wakefield

To visit someone in Wakefield you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 2 days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

A maximum of 3 adults can visit at one time, plus children. At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

Residents who have been sentenced can have between 2 and 4 visits every 4 weeks, depending on their privileges.

Residents on remand can have up to 4 visits a week, depending on availability.

Contact Wakefield 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 Wakefield
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone and email.

Booking line: 01924 612 274
Monday, Friday, 9am to midday
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am to midday and 2pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Email: socialvisitswakefield@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm

Email: legalvisits.wakefield@justice.gov.uk

You can also book by phone.

Booking line: 01924 612 254
Monday, 9am to 11:00am
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4pm
Friday, 9am to 10.30am
Find out about call charges

You can also book a prison video link.

Telephone: 01924 612 254
Monday to Thursday, 9am to 11:45am, 2pm to 4pm
Friday, 9am to 11am
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 8:30am to 11am
  • Tuesday: 8:30am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 8:30am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 8:30am to 11am, 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 8:30am to 10:30am

Getting to Wakefield

Find Wakefield on a map

The nearest station is Wakefield Westgate, which is about a 5 minute walk from the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is no visitor car parking available at Wakefield. There are car parks in the town centre a short walk away.

Entering Wakefield

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.

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 Wakefield. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need a £1 coin) 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

There is a visitors centre run by Partners of Prisoners (POPS). Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff. There is a small play area for children.

The centre is open on visiting days from 12:45pm to 4pm.

Family days

Wakefield runs the following family days once a month on a rolling basis:

  • adult family days
  • over 50s family days
  • children’s family days
  • lifer family days

Residents must apply for these days in advance.

Keep in touch with someone at Wakefield

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

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. 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 Wakefield 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 Wakefield.

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 Wakefield.

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
  • cheques
  • cash

Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ‘The Governor’ and include the resident’s full name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

People in Wakefield can buy a range of items, including fresh produce, from the prison shop.

Family and friends can give books to residents. These can either be sent to the prison or handed in at visits.

Life at Wakefield

Wakefield 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 Wakefield has a right to feel safe. The prison works closely with Wakefield and District Safeguarding Adults Board who oversee the safeguarding processes and are advised by the Safeguarding Prison Sub Group.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wakefield, 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 it is likely to be late, prison staff will contact the family member earlier in the day to check they are happy to be contacted.

New residents will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs. Any issues that are raised will be looked into and resolved.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Wakefield gets an induction that can last up to 2 weeks. Everyone is given an induction booklet that schedules the induction activities they need to attend. 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.

New residents will also get to meet representatives from the wing they will be moving to. These include ‘insiders’ and ‘prison listeners’ who provide support and advice.

Accommodation

Up to 750 men live at Wakefield, across 4 units, each with up to 180 men in single rooms.

Each man gets their own room. TVs are available to men on ‘standard’ and ‘enhanced’ behaviour levels.

Wakefield is dedicated to making prisons safer and equal. It also runs a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents. The kitchen caters for religious and medical diets.

Residents have regular access to the gym.

Education and work

Residents have access to many learning opportunities provided by Milton Keynes College. These range from basic skills, such as English and maths, to distance learning with the Open University. Accredited courses are available in hospitality, catering and industrial cleaning.

Men can take jobs throughout the prison, in the kitchens, in textiles, woodwork and the library. They can also work in the braille shop, converting books to braille.

Wakefield also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes.

Temporary release

Some Wakefield Prison residents may qualify for release on temporary licence (ROTL).

Organisations Wakefield works with

Toe By Toe encourages residents to help others improve their reading and literacy.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Wakefield

You can get family support from Partners of Prisoners (POPS).

You can also call:

Telephone: 01924 612 165 or 0161 702 1000
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Wakefield

Governor: Tom Wheatley

Telephone (24 hours): 01924 612 000
Fax: 01924 612 001
Find out about call charges

Email: correspondencewakefield@justice.gov.uk

Follow Wakefield on Twitter

Address

HMP Wakefield
5 Love Lane
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
WF2 9AG

See map

Safety concerns

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Wakefield, call the switchboard and ask to speak to the Safer Prisons department or the duty governor.

In an emergency, ask for the ‘control room’. They will pass on your concerns to the orderly officer immediately.

Telephone: 01924 612 000

You can also call the Safer Prisons Family Helpline and leave a message. It is monitored from 8am to 5pm and once after midnight.

Telephone: 0800 389 1108

Published 5 May 2020