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

HMP Woodhill is offering visits for family and friends. Visiting times and availability may change at short notice. You should contact the prison direct for any queries.

Now that regular COVID testing of people in the wider community has ended, you are no longer required to take a COVID test before coming to see someone for a visit, although we would still encourage you to do so.

We will continue to run social visits whilst it is safe to do so.

Visiting rules may change if there is an outbreak within the prison, this may include bringing back testing before visits for a short time to protect you, the person you are visiting and staff.

If you are unable to visit someone in prison you can still keep in touch.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

The visits booking number is 01908 722 329.

Opening times for the visit booking line are:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 11.30am and 1pm to 3.30pm (except Bank Holidays).

Keep in touch with someone at Woodhill

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

Phone calls

Prisoners 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 prisoners 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 will need to download the Prison Video 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 prisoner, 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 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

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

Family and friends 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.

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.

For further information about what to do when you are worried or concerned about someone in prison visit the Prisoners’ Families helpline website.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner 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

Prisoners 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

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

Temporary release

Prisoners may qualify for release on temporary licence. This can be used to gain work experience in the local community and prepare for release. Prisoners 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 prisoners. 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 prisoner. Contact Woodhill on the main number and ask to speak to the chaplaincy.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Woodhill.

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 2 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Secure video calls 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 temporarily suspended

  6. Added link to information about testing for physical contact at visits.

  7. New visiting times and booking information added.

  8. 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.

  9. Visits update

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

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

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

  13. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

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

  16. First published.