Guidance

Wandsworth Prison

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

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Book and plan your visit to Wandsworth

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Wandsworth following national lockdown. We will update here as soon as this changes. There may be the opportunity for visits under exceptional compassionate reasons which should be agreed in advance with the prison prior to travel.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

Keep in touch with someone at Wandsworth

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

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits app, create an account, register all visitors, and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how it works

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 21 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Visits update

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

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

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

  5. Updated video call info

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

  7. First published.