Winchester Prison

Winchester is a men’s prison and young offender institution (YOI) in the centre of Winchester, Hampshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Winchester

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Winchester 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. We will update here as soon as this changes.

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 Winchester

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

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 do not have phones in their rooms 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 Winchester 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 Winchester.


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 Winchester.

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.

Gifts and parcels

Contact Winchester for information on sending property to residents.

Life at Winchester

Winchester Prison is committed to providing a safe and engaging environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

The prison aims to provide a service to the men that is caring, kind and compassionate, allowing them to feel valued members of the prison community.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Winchester 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 Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Winchester, 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 Winchester 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 690 men live at Winchester. The rooms in the main wings are mostly shared. The rooms in the Westhill unit are all single.

A gym provides residents with recreational activities.

Education and work

Residents have access to education provided by Milton Keynes College.

Work is available throughout the prison in areas such as recycling, light assembly, textiles, catering and IT. Residents can also work on the wings decorating, cleaning and serving meals.

Temporary release

Release on temporary licence (ROTL) may be offered in certain circumstances.

Organisations Winchester works with

Winchester works with Catch 22, a not-for-profit business, to help residents prepare for their release. They provide support with things like housing, employment, finance and relationships.

There are opportunities for residents to take part in Saints 4 Sport. The programme uses sport to help participants put routine and purpose back into their lives.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Winchester

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) offers support for friends and families of men at Winchester.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Winchester

Governor: James Bourke

Main switchboard: 01962 723 000
Community mental health team: 01962 723 000
Fax: 01962 723 001 (main office) or 01962 723 108 (Westhill unit)
Find out about call charges


HMP/YOI Winchester
Romsey Road
SO22 5DF

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Winchester, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01962 723 320
Find out about call charges

Leave your name, telephone number, the man’s name and prisoner number and a brief message about your concerns. You should be called back within 24 hours.

In an emergency, call the switchboard.

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 26 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  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 visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  6. First published.