Guidance

Wormwood Scrubs Prison

Wormwood Scrubs is a men’s prison in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, West London.

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

Book and plan your visit to Wormwood Scrubs

Prison social visits are temporarily suspended at Wormwood Scrubs. 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

Keep in touch with someone at Wormwood Scrubs

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

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 Wormwood Scrubs 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 Wormwood Scrubs.

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

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 Wormwood Scrubs.

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

Residents are given a list of approved items that can be sent to them as gifts. Contact Wormwood Scrubs for more information on what’s allowed.

All parcels must be sent by a courier service such as DHL or Parcelforce. Wormwood Scrubs will not accept any parcels sent by Royal Mail.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Wormwood Scrubs

Wormwood Scrubs is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Wormwood Scrubs 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 London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wormwood Scrubs, 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 at the prison who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Wormwood Scrubs 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 1200 men live at Wormwood Scrubs in a mixture of single and shared rooms. There are 5 main wings (A to E) plus a number of smaller specialist units.

Facilities include book rooms on all wings and a fully equipped gym.

Wormwood Scrubs Prison has a diverse, multi-faith chaplaincy team providing support to residents.

Education and work

Residents can choose from a broad range of learning opportunities, including:

  • English
  • maths
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • painting and decorating
  • customer service
  • barbering
  • rail-track laying

There are several contract workshops at Wormwood Scrubs where residents can gain work experience and qualifications, including industrial cleaning and laundry.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Problems and complaints

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

Contact Wormwood Scrubs

Governor: Jonathan French

Telephone: 020 8588 3200
Fax: 020 8588 3201
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Road
London
W12 0AE

See map

Safer custody hotline

Call the switchboard if you’re worried about a man at Wormwood Scrubs and they will put you through to the safer custody team or an orderly officer.

Published 2 June 2020
Last updated 15 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  2. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

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

  4. Updated governor name

  5. First published.