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
Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.
We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.
Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.
If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.
You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.
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
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.
Visits booking line: 0300 060 6509 The booking line is open, Monday to Friday, 9:15am to 5pm. Find out about call charges
Visitors needing additional mobility support, please make us aware when booking your visit.
Monday to Friday: 1:30pm to 2:30pm and 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Visitors must arrive 30 minutes before the visit time.
How to book legal and professional visits
To book a legal visit please email LegalvisitsWandsworth@justice.gov.uk
Any visit needs to be booked 3 days in advance, at least.
We cannot book in advance by more than 1 week.
Legal visits are Monday to Thursday:
- 8:30am to 9:30am
- 10:30am to 11:30am
- 1:30pm to 2:30pm
- 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Getting to Wandsworth
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
There are lockers in the visitors centre to store your belongings. You will need a £1 coin for this.
Wandsworth holds monthly family days giving prisoners more time to spend with their children in a more relaxed setting.
They also host a monthly Homework Club for prisoners to help their children with homework.
Prisoners can apply for these visits.
Keep in touch with someone at Wandsworth
There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner 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.
Prisoners 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.
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 prisoner, depending on the rules at Wandsworth.
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 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
Friends and family can drop off books, socks and underwear for prisoners at Wandsworth whenever the visitors centre is open. These should be left in the property drop box in the visitors centre.
Prisoners 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.
Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, 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.
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.
For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.
All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Richmond and Wandsworth Safeguarding Adults Board.
The Samaritans also train prisoners to be ‘listeners’ to help support other prisoners going through difficult times.
Arrival and first night
When a prisoner 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.
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.
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 prisoners.
Education and work
Prisoners can choose from a broad range of learning opportunities, including:
- information and communication technology (ICT)
- English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
- 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
- parenting skills
- employability skills
- musician in residence
Work is also available throughout the prison.
Organisations Wandsworth works with
Shannon Trust helps prisoners with their reading skills and trains prisoners to be peer mentors.
St Giles Trust trains prisoners to advise fellow prisoners with prison life and preparing for release.
StandOut helps prisoners 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 prisoners at the end of their sentence with volunteer mentors to help them through their release and back in the community.
Forward Trust supports prisoners 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 prisoners. You can call or ask in the visitors centre to speak to someone.
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Wandsworth.
HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Wandsworth in response to independent inspections.
Governor: Graham Barrett
Telephone (24 hours): 020 8588 4000
Find out about call charges
PO Box 757
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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