Guidance

Wealstun Prison

Wealstun is a prison for adult men near Wetherby, 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 Wealstun

To visit someone in Wealstun you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit 28 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 Wealstun.

If you have any questions about visiting, email: socialvisits.wealstun@justice.gov.uk

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 Wealstun
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

If you have not got an email confirmation for your visit after 3 days, email socialvisits.wealstun@justice.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01937 444 599
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 9am to 11am, 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am, 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 11am, 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 9:30am to 11:30am, 1:45pm to 3:45pm
  • Sunday: 9:30am to 11:30am, 1:45pm to 3:45pm

Email: legalvisits.wealstun@justice.gov.uk

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01937 444 599
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12:30pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am, 2:15pm to 4pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 11am, 2:15pm to 4pm

You can also book a prison video link for oral hearings, sentence planning boards and other reviews, subject to approval from the offender supervisor.

Getting to Wealstun

Find Wealstun on a map

The closest railway stations are Leeds (12 miles from the prison) and York (15 miles). You can take a 45 minute bus ride to the prison, as taxis can be expensive.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a large visitor car park with Blue Badge parking spaces close to the visitor centre.

Entering Wealstun

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

You need to bring birth certificates for all children and red books for newborn babies who haven’t got a birth certificate yet.

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

Wealstun has a strict dress code policy, which means visitors should wear smart clothes (no vests, no low-cut tops, no shorts, no short dresses and no headwear, other than that worn for religious reasons).

Each visitor group is allowed to take in a maximum of £60 (£20 and £50 notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the tea bar in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Wealstun. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (takes 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

Jigsaw runs the visitor centre which is open on visiting days from 8:30am.

The visits room has a children’s play area and snack counter and there are toilets and baby changing facilities just outside.

Family days

There are around 7 family days a year.

These are longer visits where support staff offer arts and crafts, quizzes and bingo and a family lunch so fathers can spend quality time with their children.

Men can apply to take part in one of the family days.

Keep in touch with someone at Wealstun

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms but 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.

Calls can be made by residents at these times:

  • Monday to Thursday, 6:30am to 8am, 11:30am to 1pm, 5:30pm to 11pm
  • Fridays, 6:30am to 8pm, 11:30am to 11pm
  • Weekends and bank holidays: 6:30am to 11pm

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 Wealstun 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 Wealstun.

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 Wealstun.

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

Postal orders and cheques should be made payable to The Governor or HMP Wealstun and include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back.

Gifts and parcels

No gifts can be sent.

‘Enhanced’ prisoners can apply for approval to have a clothing parcel sent in 2 times a year.

You can send men books at any time. Order from these approved retailers, who will send the books to residents:

  • Blackwell’s
  • Foyles
  • Waterstones
  • WH Smith

Life at Wealstun

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

Wealstun is serious about reducing the risk of re-offending so men are expected to take part in their sentence plans and demonstrate good citizenship and behaviour at all times. Behaviour will affect their privileges in prison, whether they are re-categorised and considered for early release.

The prison has a strict drug policy which includes mandatory drug testing and investigating the supply and use of drugs. There are many drug treatment programmes on offer, a drug support wing, help from peers and a personal officer scheme.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Wealstun 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 Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board.

A Listener scheme (supported by the Samaritans) is available for those who need to talk and there is peer support, race equality representatives and an information desk.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wealstun, 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 Wealstun 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

Wealstun houses around 800 men, mostly in single rooms, but there are 22 double rooms.

Education and work

Wealstun offers both full and part-time education and work. There are production workshops and training courses in construction, industrial cleaning, computers, gardening and catering.

It also provides offending behaviour programmes to help address behaviour and substance abuse.

Organisations Wealstun works with

The prison is supported by charities specializing in substance and gambling addiction, sexual health and victim support.

Healthcare is provided by the agency Care UK.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Wealstun

The charity Jigsaw offers family support services.

It offers:

  • practical support to maintain family ties, including child contact
  • emotional support for prisoners and families
  • help in signposting men and their families to other organisations that can help with individual issues

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Wealstun

Governor: Diane Lewis

Telephone: 01937 444 400
Open 24 hours
Fax: 01937 444 401
Find out about call charges

Follow Wealstun on Twitter

Address

HMP Wealstun
Church Causeway
Thorp Arch
Wetherby
Yorkshire
LS23 7AZ

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Wealstun, call the safer custody (at risk) hotline.

Telephone: 01937 444 774
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number and the reason for your call. Also leave the name and prisoner number of your loved one. You will get a call back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the switchboard on 01937 444 400.

Published 5 May 2020