Guidance

Woodhill Prison

Woodhill is a men’s high security prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Milton Keynes.

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Book and plan your visit to Woodhill

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Woodhill 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.

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 Woodhill

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

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms which they can use at set times:

  • 6am to 8am
  • 9am to 1pm
  • 2pm to 11pm

The phones do not accept incoming calls so residents 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.

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

Email

You can send emails to someone in Woodhill 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 Woodhill.

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 Woodhill.

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 ‘HMPPS’. They should include the resident’s name and prisoner number on the back, plus your own name and address.

Gifts and parcels

It’s not possible to send items or property to residents. You can send residents money instead which they can use to buy items through a catalogue system.

Life at Woodhill

Woodhill is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men convicted of serious offences can make positive use of long sentences.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Woodhill 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 Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Woodhill, 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 Woodhill gets an induction that lasts 5 days. 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 800 men live at Woodhill in a mixture of single and shared rooms. All rooms have phones for outgoing calls.

Education and work

Residents have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities designed around their employment goals. Subjects include:

  • English
  • maths
  • painting and decorating
  • multi-skills
  • catering
  • music technology

Work is available throughout the prison, along with the chance to study and earn professional qualifications. Areas include:

  • contract workshop
  • laundry
  • waste management
  • garden party
  • market garden
  • kitchens

Residents can also take up mentoring positions to assist others with their learning.

Temporary release

Residents may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Residents can apply for this within the prison.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Woodhill

The PACT team provides a range of information, guidance and support to families and friends of residents. More information is available on the PACT website.

You can also get help from the Woodhill chaplaincy team when you need to have a difficult conversation or give bad news to a resident. Contact Woodhill on the main number and ask to speak to the chaplaincy.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Woodhill

Governor: Nicola Marfleet

Telephone: 01908 722 000
Fax: 01908 722 320
Find out about call charges

Follow Woodhill on Twitter

Address

HMP/YOI Woodhill
Tattenhoe Street
Milton Keynes
Buckinghamshire
MK4 4DA

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Woodhill, call the urgent concern line to speak to the safer custody team. Out of hours, your call will be forwarded to the control room where you can ask to speak to the orderly officer.

Telephone: 01908 722 152
Find out about call charges

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Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 21 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Visits update

  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. Updated visiting times and visiting procedure changes in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  7. Added confirmation of secure video calls made available at this prison.

  8. First published.