Guidance

Wandsworth Prison

Wandsworth is a men’s prison in the London Borough of Wandsworth, South West London.

HMP Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth

To visit someone in Wandsworth 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.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Wandsworth.

Contact Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

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

Booking line: 0300 060 6509

Monday to Thursday:

  • AM sessions: 8:30am to 09:30am and 10am to 11am
  • PM sessions: 1:30pm to 2:30pm and 3pm to 4pm

Visitors must arrive 30 minutes before the visit time.

Find out about call charges

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Wandsworth

Find Wandsworth on a map

The closest railways stations to Wandsworth are Wandsworth Town, Wandsworth Common and Earlsfield which are all about a mile away. Clapham Junction station is just over a mile away. Several local bus routes pass the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

If coming by car, use the postcode SW18 3HU for sat nav.

You will need to find parking outside of the prison. There is no visitor car park at the prison and most local roads are limited to permit holders.

Entering Wandsworth

On your first visit to Wandsworth, you will have your fingerprints taken for the security system. These will be used to confirm your identity on future visits.

You will also need to bring ID to every visit.

Adults should have either one photo ID plus one form of supporting ID or 3 forms of supporting ID.

At least one form of ID must show an address and one must show a date of birth. They should be the original document. Photocopies of documents printed from the internet will not be accepted.

The photo ID can be any of the following:

  • passport
  • driving licence photo card
  • European Community identity card
  • armed forces identity card
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass

Examples of supporting ID:

  • birth certificate
  • employer ID card
  • student union membership card
  • young person’s proof of age card
  • National Insurance card
  • Blue Badge parking permit
  • driving licence paper counterpart
  • utility or landline telephone bill (from the last 3 months)
  • council tax statement (from the last 3 months)
  • bank or credit card statement (from the last 3 months)
  • TV licence

Children under 18 should have one form of ID that shows their date of birth, such as a passport or birth certificate. Babies who haven’t been registered yet can use their red book instead.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Wandsworth has a family-friendly dress code which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses or ripped jeans. Additionally, you cannot wear anything with offensive patterns or slogans. You will need to remove scarves, gloves, watches, sunglasses and hats (except religious head coverings) before you go in. Ask in the visitors centre if you have questions about the dress code.

There are currently no refreshments available during visits.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Wandsworth. 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

There is a visitors centre run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity. Family and friends can relax, buy refreshments and get advice and support from the staff.

Email: wandsworth@prisonadvice.org.uk
Telephone: 020 8874 4377
Find out about call charges

There are lockers in the visitors centre to store your belongings. You will need a £1 coin for this.

Family days

Wandsworth holds monthly family days giving residents more time to spend time with their children in a more relaxed setting.

They also host a monthly Homework Club for residents to help their children with homework.

Residents can apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Wandsworth

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms and are able to make outgoing calls. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

Phones do not accept incoming calls so they will always have to call you.

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 Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth.

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 Wandsworth.

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 ‘The Governor HMP Wandsworth’ and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

Friends and family can drop off books, socks and underwear for residents at Wandsworth whenever the visitors centre is open. These should be left in the property drop box in the visitors centre.

Residents must apply for permission to receive any other items. They can do this using a kiosk.

They are given a list of approved items that can be handed in and can receive one parcel in the first 28 days of custody. After that, they will normally be allowed one parcel a year if they are under 50 or one parcel every six months if 50 or over.

Parcels should be handed in at the property garage next to the visitors centre. The property garage opening times are:

  • Tuesday: 8:30am to 11:45am, 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Thursday: 8:30am to 11:45am, 1:30pm to 3:45pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 11:45am

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Contact Wandsworth or ask at the visitors centre for more information.

Life at Wandsworth

Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth 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 Richmond and Wandsworth Safeguarding Adults Board.

The Samaritans also train residents to be ‘listeners’ to help support other residents going through difficult times.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wandsworth, 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 Wandsworth 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 1600 men live at Wandsworth across 5 wings. These are A, B, C, D and E. There is a mixture of single and shared rooms. Each wing has its own showers and canteen.

Other buildings hold the visiting halls, gyms, sports hall, library, classrooms and workshops.

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

Education and work

Residents can choose from a broad range of learning opportunities, including:

  • English
  • maths
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • barbering
  • catering
  • bicycle repair
  • gardening and horticulture
  • construction skills
  • radio production

Other opportunities include:

  • a befriending and support service for foreign nationals
  • embroidery lessons and workshop
  • Liberty choir
  • yoga
  • parenting skills
  • employability skills
  • musician in residence
  • mindfulness

Work is also available throughout the prison.

Organisations Wandsworth works with

Shannon Trust helps residents with their reading skills and trains residents to be peer mentors.

St Giles Trust trains residents to advise fellow residents with prison life and preparing for release.

StandOut helps residents with their employability skills, CVs and disclosure letters and works to create employment opportunities for them as they approach release.

Strive Training runs workshops in employability skills and parenting skills.

Trailblazers Mentoring pairs young residents at the end of their sentence with volunteer mentors to help them through their release and back in the community.

Forward Trust supports residents with substance misuse and dependency issues.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Wandsworth

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Wandsworth

Governor: Graham Barrett

Telephone (24 hours): 020 8588 4000
Find out about call charges

Follow Wandsworth on Twitter

Address

HMP Wandsworth
PO Box 757
Heathfield Road
Wandsworth
London
SW18 3HU

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Wandsworth, call this number and ask to speak to the orderly officer.

Telephone: 020 8588 4252
Find out about call charges

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Published 19 May 2020
Last updated 6 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated video call info

  2. Updated: HMP Wandsworth visiting times and visiting procedure changes during coronavirus.

  3. First published.