Whitemoor is a men’s high security prison in March, Cambridgeshire.
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Book and plan your visit to Whitemoor
To visit someone in Whitemoor you must:
- be on that person’s visitor list
- have the required ID with you when you go
Visits to ‘high risk’ and ‘exceptional risk’ prisoners must be booked at least 7 days in advance. All other visits must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.
There may be a limit to the number of visits a prisoner can have. You can check this with Whitemoor.
Contact Whitemoor 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 Whitemoor
- somewhere to stay overnight
How to book family and friends visits
You can book your visit by telephone.
You can also register to use the secure video calls service.
Booking line: 01354 602 800
The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm Find out about call charges
- Thursday: 1:40pm to 4pm
- Saturday: 1:40 pm to 4pm
- Sunday: 1:40pm to 4pm
Visit durations are 2 hour slots within these times.
How to book legal and professional visits
Booking line number: 01354 602654
The booking line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm
Legal visit times:
- Tuesday & Wednesday: 8:30am to 9:30am and 9:45am to 10:45am
Getting to Whitemoor
The closest railway station is March, which is about 1.5 miles from Whitemoor. There are no local buses so you will have to walk or get a taxi from the station.
By Car: Enter postcode PE15 OPR into a sat nav to find the establishment. There is a visitor’s car park immediately in front of the prison with the visitor’s centre to the left of this car park.
By Air: Most airlines operate services to Stanstead airport where a direct train service runs to March. This service is approximately 1 hr 30 minutes.
To plan your journey by public transport:
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.
Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.
There are strict controls on what you can take into Whitemoor. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker (you will need 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.
On arrival, visitors should report to the visitor centre. .
Refreshments consisting of Hot/Cold drinks and snack are available once in the main visit’s hall.
The centre is open daily from 12:15pm.
Check with the prison for family day information and schedules.
Keep in touch with someone at Whitemoor
There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Whitemoor.
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 Whitemoor 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 Whitemoor.
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.
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 Whitemoor.
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 Whitemoor are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Whitemoor for more information on what’s allowed.
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.
Life at Whitemoor
As a maximum security prison, Whitemoor is committed to helping prisoners convicted of serious offences make positive use of long sentences. It also works to reduce the risk of reoffending through assessment, work, education and offending behaviour programmes.
Security and safeguarding
Every prisoner at Whitemoor 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.
Arrival and first night
When a prisoner first arrives at Whitemoor, 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 prisoner who arrives at Whitemoor 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 500 prisoners are housed at Whitemoor. There are 4 main residential wings (A, B, C and F) plus the specialist Fens unit. All prisoners get their own cell.
Sports facilities include a full size sports hall, a weight-training room, fitness suite and an outside astroturf pitch. Prisoners have access to a full programme of classes and activities.
Education and work
Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities. These include a strong focus on information and communications technology (ICT), from a foundation level to higher learning with the Open University.
Prisoners can take vocational training in construction trades, including painting, decorating and plastering.
Work is available throughout the prison, including in Whitemoor’s recycling and laundry workshops. Prisoners can also work in desktop publishing and computer refurbishment as part of a restorative justice project with IT Schools Africa.
Whitemoor also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes and non-accredited courses for personal and social development.
Support for family and friends
Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.
If you have a concern about a prisoner, please call: 01354 602400.
The Children and Families Strategy is overseen by our Head of Operations who can be contacted at BusinesshubWhitemoor@justice.gov.uk.
Support at Whitemoor
The Ormiston Families team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners.
Families and Significant Other Lead is Governor D Watson Head of Operation.
Problems and complaints
If you have a problem contact Whitemoor.
Governor: Ruth Stephens
Telephone: 01354 602 350
Fax: 01354 602 351
Find out about call charges
In an emergency
If you have a concern that there is an imminent risk of danger to a prisoner in our care and you wish to speak to a member of staff to raise this concern, then you can call the switchboard: 01354 602350.
The member of staff answering the phone will not be able to discuss the prisoner with you, but they will immediately pass your concern onto a senior member of staff to action. We aim to address any issues raised on the call immediately and will let you know what the outcome is.
If you are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of any prisoner in our care at HMP Whitemoor Wood but there is no immediate threat or danger then you can leave an answerphone message for the Safer Custody Team on: 01354 602400.
This voicemail service is checked numerous times a day both weekly and at weekends.