Visiting the prison

Visiting the prison

We recognise that maintaining links with friends, families and children is a hugely motivating factor for offenders that can positively influence behaviour change and directly reduce reconviction rates.

At HMP Northumberland we are committed to working with families, the local community and voluntary sector partners to help prisoners and individuals in any way to maintain meaningful family contact throughout a period of custody. We want to strengthen the relationship between HMP Northumberland and the families of those affected by imprisonment to ensure that everyone receives the best possible support, maintain important links with loved ones and prepare for release.

Health safety and hygiene

All elements of the visits process are subject to risk assessment processes to ensure that a healthy and secure environment. The prison has a full time Health and Safety Officer and all staff are appropriately trained in Health and Safety legislation. There is a comprehensive cleaning schedule in place and full accident and incident reporting procedures.

 

Visiting times

Details of HMP Northumberland visiting times.

Social visits will operate Monday to Friday afternoons and can be booked as normal by the resident, however here are the new allocated sessions:

Monday: HB1-4, G/Way and CSU Main.

Tuesday: HB5,7 and 8

Wednesday: HB10-12 CSU VP.

Thursday: HB13-14.

Friday: HB9,16 and 6.

Please note that the residents allocated weekly session will rotate to ensure fair access to all residents i.e. If the allocated visits session is listed as a Monday above, the following week it will move one day to a Tuesday etc. This will be automatically adjusted for the resident to book internally. The resident must book the visit 48 hours prior to your visit so we can then contact you to explain the new Covid 19 visit procedures.

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month which will be one hour in duration. The visit can be booked in one of the 2 x 1-hour visits sessions available:

1345 – 1445 hours

1515 – 1615 hours

Residents subject to shielding will allocated a closed visit booth

Please note that there will be no physical contact allowed on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kisses)

After each 1 hour visit the visitors will be asked to leave the hall.

Who cannot have a visit?

Symptomatic residents under isolation

New residents (within the first 14 days) and those who are returning from external hospital who are required to spend 14 days isolated.

Who can visit?

Visits will only be allowed by people who are symptom free, who have not been asked to self-isolate and who have not recently come into contact with anyone who has symptoms or is self-isolating.

Up to 3 close family members per booking that must be from the same household. Proof of address must be shown on arrival.

Face Coverings

All visitors aged over 11 years will be required to wear face coverings on arrival at the visitors centre and throughout the visit.

How to book a visit

Guidelines of how to book visits to Northumberland prison.

Prisoners must book their own visits using the wing kiosks, an electronic booking system. Prisoners must book the Date; Time Type of visit, and then inform visitors of this information.

Legal visits are booked by email: legalvisits.northumberland@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

Before and during vists

What to expect and how to prepare for visiting the prison.

  1. Visitors must bring photographic ID (a driver’s licence if not a passport and two official letters, household bills or statements.)
     
  2. On their first visit, they will need this information to register on the electronic system which records their photo image and an image of their finger scan.
     
  3. First time visitors should arrive 20 minutes prior to the first visit, to allow time to register. Once on the system, this will speed up future visits.
     
  4. Children will not be photographed or have finger prints taken but ID will be required.
     
  5. All visitors should expect to be searched when entering the prison.
     
  6. Visits room security staff maintain a balance between security and support. Staff are trained to detect any attempts to pass contraband within the visits room and to challenge behaviour which contravenes normally accepted public decency standards.

Security

Security guidance and details about enforced behavioural standards for those visiting residents at HMP Northumberland.

  • Visitors undergo a number of security procedures before gaining entry to the visit room. This is to prevent escape and prevent the introduction of illicit items.
     
  • By concentrating on entry procedures, a more relaxed environment can be created within the visit room, enhancing the experience.
     
  • Visitors must provide their identity, provide biometric finger scans, undergo rub down and drug detection dog searches, submit items for X-ray and be checked with metal detector wands.

    A future addition to this process is an online video which will provide insight into entering a prison through a child’s eye.

Types of visit

Social Visits

Social visits will operate Monday to Friday afternoons and can be booked as normal by the resident, however here are the new allocated sessions:

Monday: HB1-4, G/Way and CSU Main.

Tuesday: HB5,7 and 8

Wednesday: HB10-12 CSU VP.

Thursday: HB13-14.

Friday: HB9,16 and 6.

Please note that the residents allocated weekly session will rotate to ensure fair access to all residents i.e. If the allocated visits session is listed as a Monday above, the following week it will move one day to a Tuesday etc. This will be automatically adjusted for the resident to book internally. The resident must book the visit 48 hours prior to your visit so we can then contact you to explain the new Covid 19 visit procedures.

To maximise visits opportunities and to be fair to all, each resident will be allowed one visit per month which will be one hour in duration. The visit can be booked in one of the 2 x 1-hour visits sessions available:

1345 – 1445 hours

1515 – 1615 hours

Residents subject to shielding will allocated a closed visit booth

Please note that there will be no physical contact allowed on visits (including handshakes, handholding, hugs or kisses)

After each 1 hour visit the visitors will be asked to leave the hall.

 

Legal Visits

Legal Visits will be re-introduced on Monday 14th September. These visits will be conducted in line with the Governments virus controls and social distancing guidelines to ensure safety is maintained at all times.

Professional Visitors will be able to book a visit as per normal procedures via the establishments booking clerk.

Please be aware that legal visits will be booked to coincide with the allocated socail visits session for each House Block.

Legal / Official Visitors will book their visits via legal.visits.northumberland@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

All visitors must provide identification at the Visits Entrance.

 

 

Contact by email or letter

Information about emailing to and letters sent from a prisoner.

Emailing a prisoner

The prison subscribes to the scheme whereby members of the public can send emails via a secure third party.

These are then printed in the prison and handed to the prisoner as mail.

This facility is widely advertised within the prison and the visitors centre. Families can also send blank forms which residents can write on and be emailed back in response. Further to this, friends and family members are able to subscribe to this service via the internet.

 

Letters

Each prisoner is allowed to send unlimited letters, with one letter each week at the expense of the prison.

Following approval by a Unit Manager, more than one letter per week may be sent at the expense of Sodexo if justified by the prisoner’s circumstances.

Prisoners are provided with a pen, writing paper and an envelope.

Visitor centre facilities

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, no refreshment facilties will be available in the Visitor's Centre.

How we collect and use your data

COLLECTION OF DATA

In order to facilitate your visit to one of our prisons and to ensure that we deliver appropriate levels of security and safety and prevent crime, for identification purposes we shall collect your name, date of birth, address, a biometric template of your fingerprint and a photograph. A series of reference points from a finger print are collected, allowing a unique identification pattern. We do not collect or hold actual fingerprints.

Our prisons operate CCTV and staff may wear Body Worn Video Recording Equipment. We do not collect biometric readings or photographs of children under 16, however with the use of CCTV, images may routinely be captured.

DATA SHARING

We will only share your information with a third party where there is a legal obligation to do so.

RIGHTS OF ACCESS, CORRECTION, ERASURE AND RESTRICTION

You have legal rights in connection with personal information. Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing.
  • Object to processing of your personal information by us or on our behalf in certain situations.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.

DATA RETENTION

We keep personal data in accordance with our clients’ and Sodexo’s retention procedures. These retention periods depend on the nature of the information (e.g. we apply different retention periods to different type of information such as CCTV and your visitor record), and may be subject to change.

If you have any questions or concerns about how long we retain your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details below.

FURTHER ADVICE / GUIDANCE

To exercise your rights, you can contact us by writing to us at the following address: dataprotection.ukandie@sodexo.com or email the Global Data Protection Office at the following email address: dpo.group@sodexo.com stating your surname, first name and the reason for your request. We will most likely ask you for additional information in order to identify you and to enable us to deal with your request

You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office and file a complaint. (https://ico.org.uk/concerns/)

 

HMP Northumberland
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE65 9XG