Wakefield Prison

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

Applies to England and Wales

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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

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. You can check this with Wakefield Prison.

Contact Wakefield Prison 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 or by telephone.

Telephone booking line: 01924 612 274

The booking line is open:

Visiting times:

  • Friday: 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sundays: 2pm to 4pm

Legal visits booking line: 01924 612 085

The line is open:

  • Monday and Friday: 9am to midday
  • Tuesday to Thursday: 9am to midday and 2pm to 4pm

Tuesday to Thursday: 9am to 11am

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 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 screened by drug detection dogs. If the dog shows an indication of an illicit item, your visit may conducted under closed conditions.

If any illicit items are found during the search process or any attempt to traffic illicit items into the establishment then this could lead to the visit being cancelled, and a ban from visiting the establishment for a period of time imposed and if deemed serious enough police involvement.

HMP Wakefield has a family-friendly dress code policy which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut skirts or dresses, shorts, see-through or ripped clothing or headwear other than that worn for religious reasons.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £25. This can be used on food and refreshments in the visits hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into HMP Wakefield. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in the visitors centre. This includes pushchairs and car seats. There are lockers for valuables.

On exiting the prison 10% of visitors will be selected at random for an exit search, this will be conducted in the same way as you had been searched coming into the prison. Visitors refusing an exit search may be banned from future visits for a period of time.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre run by Partners of Prisoners (POPS).

The centre is open on visiting days from 12:30pm for afternoon sessions.

A coffee morning Family Forum runs once a month to help families to better understand a prisoner’s life whilst at HMP Wakefield.  POPS invites Governors, prison staff and outside agencies to discuss different subjects such as Safer Custody, Probation, Education, Offender Management, Resettlement and any other areas that families wish to learn about. For more information or to confirm your attendance contact the POPS’s Family support lead on

Dates are below (but may be subject to change):

  • 29 March
  • 26 April 
  • 31 May 
  • 28 June 
  • 26 July 
  • 30 August 
  • 27 September 
  • 25 October  
  • 29 November 
  • 27 December 

Family days

Family day visits have commenced again, full details are provided to prisoners via a community newsletter.

HMP Wakefield run 12 family visits a year. Dates are below (but may be subject to change):

  • 20 March: Lifer
  • 10 April: Children’s
  • 22 May: Over 50’s
  • 19 June: Adults
  • 24 July: Lifer
  • 21 August: Children’s
  • 18 September: Over  50’s
  • 23 October: Adults
  • 20 November: Non-visits family day
  • 18 December: Children’s

Keep in touch with someone at Wakefield

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

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.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners do not have phones in their cells 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.


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 prisoner, depending on the rules at Wakefield.


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

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, hand in at visits 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.

Life at Wakefield

Wakefield is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where prisoners can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Wakefield has a right to feel safe.

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 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 prisoners 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.


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 prisoners 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.


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

Each prisoner gets their own cell. TVs are available to prisoners 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 prisoners. The kitchen caters for religious and medical diets.

Prisoners have regular access to the gym.

Education and work

Prisoners 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.

Prisoners 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 prisoners may qualify for release on temporary licence (ROTL).

Organisations Wakefield works with

Toe By Toe encourages prisoners 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

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01924 612 000 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 0800 389 1108 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 or contact by phone.

If you have any other problem contact Wakefield.

Inspection reports

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


Follow Wakefield on Twitter/X


HMP Wakefield
5 Love Lane
West Yorkshire

See map

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 22 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added details about using secure video call at this prison

  2. Updated visiting information

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  4. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  5. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  6. Updated physical contact guidance

  7. Added new visiting times

  8. 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.

  9. Visits update

  10. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

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

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  14. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  15. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  16. First published.