Guidance

Winchester Prison

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

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 Winchester

To visit someone in Winchester 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.

If the man is on remand they can have one visit a day.

If the man has been convicted (they have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing) they can have 2 visits a month or more depending on behaviour.

Contact Winchester 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 Winchester
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone or email.

Email: winchester@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
Booking line: 0345 223 5514
Monday to Friday, 10am to midday
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are 2pm to 4pm, daily.

Visits to men who have been convicted are 90 minutes long.

Visits to men who are on remand are 45 minutes long. These men can have 2 visits in one afternoon.

You must book legal visits by telephone.

Booking line: 01962 723 129
Find out about call charges

Visiting times are:

Monday to Friday, 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4:30pm.

Getting to Winchester

Find Winchester Prison on a map

Winchester Prison is about half a mile from Winchester railway station. It is opposite the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. There are regular buses from the station or you can take a taxi.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is limited parking around the prison. If you come by car, you will need to park in one of the city centre car parks or use the Park & Ride. Buses run every 15 minutes and stop close to the prison.

Contact Winchester if you have access needs and would like to discuss your visit.

Entering Winchester

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

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.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £10 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the vending machine in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Winchester. 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.

Visiting facilities

The charity Spurgeons runs the visitor services at Winchester.

Family days

Family days are offered at Winchester which are longer, more informal days so that men can build and strengthen relationships with their partners and children.

Residents can apply for them.

Keep in touch with someone at Winchester

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

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.

Email

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.

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 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.

Induction

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.

Accommodation

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

Address

HMP/YOI Winchester
Romsey Road
Winchester
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