Guidance

Winchester Prison

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

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2 minute survey

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 of 72 hours
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

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

  • You can pick up a leaflet from the visitor’s centre and the form you need to claim.

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online or by telephone.

You can send urgent enquires and cancellations only, to our social visits email address: socialvisits.winchester@justice.gov.uk.

Telephone booking line: 0345 223 5514
Booking line opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 4pm (except public holidays)
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday to Thursday: 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 2:15pm to 3:15pm and 3:45pm to 4:45pm
  • Bank holidays: no visits

You can book video link visits by email to videolinkwinchester@justice.gov.uk or you can book a face-to-face legal visit by email to legalvisitswinchester@justice.gov.uk

Video link time slots:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:15am to 11:45am (3 x1 hour slots)
  • Afternoons: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3pm to 3:45pm and 4pm to 4:45pm

Face to face visiting times:

  • Police: Monday to Friday: 8:15am to 11:45am ( 3x 1 hour slots)
  • Afternoon any legal visitor: 1:45pm to 2:45pm, 3pm to 3:45pm, 4pm to 4:45pm

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 only parking for blue badge holders at the prison which is very limited, we do not offer any other parking on site so 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 almost outside the prison. Please note there is no park & ride bus service on Sundays or public/bank holidays – Please check with the service provider.

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

Entering Winchester

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 children visiting will also need ID. Either a passport or birth/adoption certificate will be accepted. For children under 3 their NHS ‘Red Book’ can also be accepted.

Exceptional Circumstances

If you do not have access to the above listed ID you may still be able to attend a visit with advanced permission from the prison. Please contact the prison directly to arrange this via socialvisits.winchester@justice.gov.uk.

All visitors have to pass through the enhanced gate process when entering for visits, this will include any items going into the visits hall passing through an X-ray machine so no liquids including baby’s bottles made up are allowed, you can however bring powdered milk and make the bottle in the visits hall if required, you will also pass through a metal detector before being given a rub-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

There is a dress code at HMP Winchester and if it is not followed you may be turned away from your visit. This includes:

  • no ripped jeans (regardless of how big/small the rips)
  • hooded jumpers can be worn without the hoods up
  • cropped jumpers or T-Shirts, all tops must cover the breasts and midriff area and not be transparent, cleavage must be appropriately covered at all times
  • football clothing
  • low cut tops
  • dress/Skirts not higher than 2inches above the knee
  • shorts must not be shorter than 2inches above the knee
  • zipped jackets
  • no visible underwear
  • underwear must always be worn
  • no hats or Scarves unless religious

There are strict controls on what you can take into the visits hall at Winchester. You will have to leave all your belongings in a locker which will be provided.

We also have provision for visitors to leave pushchairs in a safe area that is under cover.

Visiting facilities

The charity Spurgeons runs the visitor hall and play at Winchester.

The Visitor Centre is open for all visits from 1pm onwards and offers a warm welcoming space with a children’s playroom, free refreshments and toilet and baby change facilities, as well as access to information and resources about national and local support services if required.

The Tea Bar is open on every session of visits, selling a variety of drinks and snacks. Each visitor is allowed to take up to £10 in loose change into the visit hall with them, but please note any products purchased will need to be consumed in the room as prisoners are not allowed to take anything back with them after the visit.

Spurgeons, with the support of their volunteers also run the children’s play area within the visits hall, for children aged 2 – 12 years old to ensure children visiting have access to resources throughout their visit. There are also baby bags/toys outside the playroom with items that can be taken to the table to entertain little ones visiting. They also have high chairs and baby bouncers that can be used during visits.

Please note toilet and baby changing facilities can be found in the external Visitors Centre. There are no Toilet facilities or baby changing facilities within the Visits Hall itself.

Family days

Spurgeons run a family support service, ‘Invisible Walls’ at HMP Winchester.

This includes the following:

  • family days, baby visits, and homework club
  • signposting to internal & external agencies
  • storybook Dads
  • self-Study packs
  • one-to-one support when multiple agencies are involved with the family’s care

In addition to the above the following is available to those in the resettlement hub

  • parenting courses and workshops
  • resettlement meetings where suitable

All of the above is accessed by the prisoners themselves. Families can refer fathers to our service by contacting invisiblewalls@spurgeons.org with their full name and prisoner number if known.

Keep in touch with someone at Winchester

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

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 Winchester prison can only be requested by prisoners.

You will receive a notification if a prisoner has requested a video call with you.

Read more about how it works

Phone calls

Prisoners have in cell phones which they can use at any time if they have pin credit. Pin credit can only be purchased once a week through the prison canteen system.

All prisoners need to complete a pin phone application to apply for numbers. After the number(s) have been authorised, which can take up to 10 days, prisoners will only be able to call these numbers.

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.

There is not a limit on how many emails you can send, to receive a reply to an email, you must choose the options which requires a small fee which the sender is liable to pay for.

Letters

You can send letters to a prisoner.

Prisoners can send two free letters a week. Any additional letters they would like to send will need a postage stamp.

All letters must include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked.

Send money

You can use the free and fast service to send money to a prisoner.

www.gov.uk/send-prisoner-money

You will need:

  • Prisoner number
  • Date of birth

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 be looked into on an individual basis by the prison.

Gifts

Contact Winchester for information on sending property to prisoners.

Prisoners who come to us from the courts are allowed to receive a clothing parcel in their first 28 days of being here, if a prisoner is transferred to us from another prison, they are not entitled to a clothing parcel.

All parcels must have the senders name and address clearly written on the parcel and have the prisoners name and number on it.

What they are allowed:

  • No black or white clothing
  • No hoods/offensive/padded/military/sports teams/countries
  • No hats, only religious head ware is allowed
  • 10 tops (sweatshirts/T-shirts)
  • 5 bottoms (trousers, tracksuit bottoms)
  • 1 dressing gown no hood
  • 2 Towels
  • 10 pairs of boxers and socks
  • 1 pair of trainers
  • 1 pair of flip flops/sliders

Life at Winchester

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

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

Security and safeguarding

Every prisoner at Winchester has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Winchester, they will be able to contact a family member by phone or a welfare call will be provided on their behalf if they fall under the PPU (public protection) laws. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time of their arrival.

During the reception process each prisoner will be asked multiple questions which will allow the officers to help make their first night as safe as possible for everyone.

Induction

Each prisoner who arrives at Winchester gets a first night induction, this induction includes filling out any relevant paperwork and staff will answer any questions they have which will allow us to support them while they’re here.

After their first night all prisoners will have a second stage induction, this induction is conducted by prisoners and they go through everything they will need to know while they are here at Winchester.

During this process they will meet with professionals who will help them with the following:

  • 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
  • Spurgeons, a charity who run a Family Support Service, supporting fathers in custody

Accommodation

Around 690 prisoners are housed at Winchester. The main prison is split into four wings. Double and single cells are available on each wing.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to education provided by Milton Keynes College, who offer a variety of course where prisoners can gain qualifications.

Work is available throughout the prison in areas such as recycling, light assembly, textiles, catering and IT. Prisoners can also work on the wings as cleaners, helping to serve meals and as painters.

Temporary release

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

Organisations Winchester works with

Winchester works with Ingeus, to help prisoners prepare for their release. They provide support with things like housing, employment, finance and relationships.

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

Concerns, problems and complaints

In an emergency

Call 01962 723 000 if you think a prisoner is at immediate risk of harm. Ask for the Orderly Officer and explain that your concern is an emergency.

Contact category Phone number Additional information
Non-emergency 01962 723 320 Call this number if you have concerns about a prisoner’s safety or wellbeing which are serious but not life-threatening.
Staff Integrity Hotline 0800 917 6877
(24 hours answering machine)
This number can be called anonymously. If you are concerned about a prisoner being bullied by a member of staff, you can use this number. As this line is managed separately from the prison, you can call this number anonymously.
Prisoners’ Families Helpline 0808 808 2003 The Prisoners’ Families Helpline can provide confidential support, advice and guidance.
Unwanted Prisoner Contact 0300 060 6699 If a prisoner is contacting you and you want them to stop, you can use the Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service.

You can complete the Stop prisoner contact online form, email unwantedprisonercontact@justice.gov.uk or contact by phone.

Problems and complaints

If you have a complaint about visits you can contact visitswinchester@justice.gov.uk

For all other complaints, please write to the Governor at the address below.

Independent inspections

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

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2 minute survey

Published 5 May 2020
Last updated 26 July 2022 + show all updates
  1. Secure video calling update.

  2. Updated visiting information

  3. Updated visiting guidance based on 1 April COVID rule changes

  4. Added link to new safer custody information under Security and safeguarding.

  5. Updated visiting information: Visits have been suspended.

  6. Updated visiting information: Testing for visitors aged 12 and over.

  7. Updated physical contact guidance

  8. Updated the booking line number.

  9. New visiting times and booking information added.

  10. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  11. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  12. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  13. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  14. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  15. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  16. First published.